Mesopotamia vs. Egypt

Topics: Assyria, Mesopotamia, Sumer Pages: 2 (562 words) Published: December 15, 2013
Despite the fact that both Mesopotamia and Egypt were first developing around the same time, natural forces and the environment caused variations in many cultural developments such as political systems, religious views, and much more. Their biggest differences were dependent on the river-valleys they lived in and how that affected the way they managed agriculture, as well as their view of their gods. One similarity that Mesopotamia and Egypt did have was that both civilizations developed a system of writing and keeping records.

The Nile made farming life in Egypt very simple and uncomplicated, whereas the Euphrates and Tigris provided the Mesopotamians with water, but required intensive irrigation designs and hard work. The Nile was predictable and overflowed onto the dry summer soil every year after August 15th. The harvest had already been gathered by this time, and when the river withdrew in early October it gave the Egyptians the perfect conditions to sow their winter crops. When it was time to sow the summer crops the Egyptians used a simple canal system that directed the water from upstream to their fields. The Mesopotamians were not nearly as lucky when it came to natural irrigation with the Euphrates. The Euphrates flooded Mesopotamian land erratically during the late spring, after they had already sown their summer crops and before they had harvested their winter crops. The flooding of the Euphrates essentially offered no benefits, and the management of the canals used to irrigate became labor intensive.

The difference of the convenience between the two rivers not only instigated variations in the way they dealt with farming but also in the way they viewed their gods. In Mesopotamia Tiamat and Nin-Gursu were the gods who ruled the water. They were feared by the Mesopotamians, and were considered to be evil. The people of Mesopotamia blamed their struggles due to poor harvests and lack of food on Tiamat and Nin-Gursu. However, in Egypt Hapi, the...
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