There were four main ancient River Valley civilizations: the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, the Nile River of Egypt, the Indus River of India, and the Yellow River of China. These civilizations showed specific similarities and contrasting differences. Many of these differences and similarities showed up in the three categories of the technological advances, the types of government, and the geography of the civilization. Two civilizations that are very interesting to delve deeper into and study the contrasting societies are China and Egypt. Since China and Egypt were both isolated from the outside, they developed with a strong focus on technology and learning with strong governments to hold the nations together.
One similarity between the two is writing. Both had a very sophisticated, strange way of communicating in writing. Egypt and China both used symbols for their writing. The symbols had no relation at all to the language of either civilization. Egypt called this writing hieroglyphics. This writing was used chiefly in recording spells and keeping records. Similarly, Chinese writing was used for keeping a record of trade and money transactions. Both civilizations also required an irrigation system to help regulate and utilize the nearby rivers’ sources. However, this is where the similarities of technology ends. Egyptians focused primarily on the afterlife. They built grand pyramids as burial sites and afterlife protection for Pharaohs and important nobles. The Chinese spent their efforts building roads for easier trade and canals for efficient, improved farming. The Chinese also created the blast furnace. This resulted in cast iron and better weapons and agricultural tools. The Egyptians, however, created the calendar. This was very important in their society because it helped to keep track of when the floods would arrive and when the farmers should begin planting. Without the calendar, the Egyptians may have never survived and thrived...
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