Fertile Crescent and Nile River Valley
About 5,000 years ago in Sumer and Egypt (3000 BC) civilizations rose. Civilizations generally have rules and regulations, building and structures, agriculture, writing, and a religious structure. Before Sumer and Egypt rose up, people in the Paleolithic Age were nomadic, hunters and gatherers. They traveled in groups of 20-30 people. They had a spoken language, which was passed on and created culture. They had religious beliefs, which are believed to explain nature in animistic ways. They never settled in one place for very long though. After came the Neolithic Age, which is believed to have occurred after the Ice Age, and a major shift in the way of life. People discovered farming, established homes, and domesticated animals. Several hundred people lived in this area together, which allowed for the first specialization of labor. This lead to trade and many technological advances, such as the potter’s wheel and the discovery of metals.
The Fertile Crescent is where the Sumer civilization began. It stretches from the Persian Gulf, through the Tigris and Euphrates, to the Mediterranean Sea, and along the coast to the Nile River basin. It is an area that supported agriculture and had a lot of vegetation. Along the Euphrates River the land was suitable for irrigation, which allowed for areas further away from the water source to grow crops and goods. The soil was rich with clay for pottery making and also salt. The geography in this area made it difficult for a major political organization to control everyone, so they were set up in city-state form. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were very important to the survival of this civilization, because agriculture was essential and without it the civilization would collapse. However, these waters that helped this civilization survive could also take it all away with an unpredictable flood. The Sumerians believed that each city-state had its own God, whom commanded all. It was...
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