Compare and Contrast Egypt and Mesopotamia

Topics: Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Ancient Near East, Ancient history, Cradle of civilization / Pages: 2 (473 words) / Published: Oct 2nd, 2012
Comparing and Contrasting Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia
In the ancient world, Egypt and Mesopotamia coexisted between 3000 and 2000 B.C.E. Throughout this essay, I will be comparing and contrasting these two prominent ancient civilizations. Both had many cultural and political differences between them. Although ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia shared similarities in beliefs and agriculture, they differed greatly in afterlife and documentation. Unlike the majority of today’s civilization who are monotheistic, the belief of one god, both the Sumerians and the Egyptians were polytheistic, the belief of many gods. Sumerian religion was based around the worship of four life giving deities, the god of heaven, the goddess of earth, the god of air, and the god of water. In Egypt, there were around 2,000 recognized gods and goddesses, one being “Nun” also the god of water. For the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, life revolved around rivers. The Egyptians depended on the Nile, whilst the Mesopotamians depended on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. All three rivers were sources of life. The rivers provided healthy hydration for each civilization. The water supported life, such as fish, providing a food source. When flooded, the rivers provided fertile soil, or silt. However, the Egyptians were blessed with the “Gift of the Nile” as the Nile flooded at the same time each year, while the Tigris and Euphrates’ floods were violent and unpredictable. Both civilizations utilized their rivers as irrigation systems. Egyptians and Mesopotamians cherished the importance of many things, however they differed immensely in the way they approached death and afterlife. Mummification is globally known and has become somewhat of a “Halloween joke”, nonetheless the Egyptians saw the preservation of the body as a serious subject. The purpose of mummification was to maintain the human structure as much as possible, in order for the spirit to find its way back to its body.

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