AP World Period 2
September 23, 2013
Mesopotamia vs. Ancient Egypt
While most early civilizations have documented strengths and weaknesses, two of the most interesting to compare are Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt were similar, but also very different, in significant ways. Both Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt set standards for civilizations to come, but because they differed geographically and had different political systems, their influence was different. Mesopotamia was the world’s first civilization and, therefore, set the baseline for all civilizations that would follow, including Ancient Egypt. In order to grow as a civilization, Mesopotamia invented handwriting known as “cuneiform”. With a system of writing Mesopotamia was able to organize the first political structures because it allowed for communication and written rules and laws. In time, Ancient Egypt would adopt and change “cuneiform” into their own system of writing and further develop Mesopotamia’s beginner societal rules, laws, and political structures. Other significant developments in Mesopotamia were achieved in agriculture and farming. One invention that proved very useful in this arena was the wheel. The wheel allowed for crops to be more easily collected, hauled and transported throughout Mesopotamia’s rugged terrain. Eventually, this transportation allowed for trading of goods and harvests among early civilizations. Mesopotamia made many strides, such as the wheel, for early civilizations but their tough terrain and difficult geographical location ultimately hindered their potential. Mesopotamia was susceptible to invasion because it had no natural landforms of protection. Also, flooding of The Euphrates River was common and unpredictable, often destroying the Mesopotamian’s hard-earned progress. Ancient Egypt was the first civilization on the continent of Africa. Egypt greatly benefited from the technological...
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