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History of Mesopotamia and Egypt Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Mar 27th, 2021

How did the geographical conditions of Mesopotamia and Egypt shape the societies that emerged in each place?

Geography influenced both Mesopotamian and Egyptian society a great deal. Geography in Mesopotamia varied. Each region had distinct geography specifically found in that region. In northern Mesopotamia, hills and plains occupied the regions; the land was also prolific for agricultural production. This was because the streams and rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) that flowed from the mountains and occurring seasonal rains brought along alluvial deposits. Similarly, the settlers exploited timber, farmed, and used stones and metals available from the mountains nearby to carry out other economic activities.

In southern Mesopotamia, marsh fields and arid plains were common, hence; urban centers sprouted along the rivers. The inhabitants used rivers to irrigate their lands and perform other household chores. Besides, Mesopotamia’s geography simplified regular invasion by foreign lands. These, in return, shaped their politics, culture, religion, and social standing.

Egyptian geographical influences were complex compared to Mesopotamia. Perhaps, this was because of its delineation from the rest of the world. Natural barriers such as deserts seemed to expedite this alienation. Despite these, geography had a dynamic influence in shaping the Egyptian’s social development. The Nile, which flowed from, South to North of Egypt, flooded every year bringing along natural deposits of alluvial soil; thus it made the soil fertile for Egyptian farmers to improve the agricultural economy.

The agricultural economy contributed to the development of algebra, which formed a basis for modern mathematics. Also, the climate present at the time contributed to the design of structures such as pyramids. Pyramids were used, among other purposes to preserve dead bodies.

In what ways are Egyptian and Sumerian creation myths similar? Different?

Compared to Sumerian civilization, which began in the plains of Euphrates and Tigris, the Egyptian civilization developed in the Nile valley at a similar time. The central characteristics of the Egyptian state and religion were anchored on the monarchy. The two civilizations alleged that the monarchy prevailed before the creation of the world. As such, a King was seen as a reflection of the creator because he personified the character of the Great God. In a nutshell, the Egyptian myth demonstrated the ‘death’ of the older creation and the advent of the new creation. The whole process was personified by the ‘death’ and ‘rebirth’ of the creator, God.

On the other hand, the Egyptian myth differed from Sumerian. Whereas the Sumerian myth embraced the ‘fall of the sky’ to represent the Great God and Goddess who came on the earth as a process of creation, the Egyptian myths begin with the earth in a predicament and focus on the resulting geocentric ‘ tremendous bang’. Thus, concludes the creation of religious authority in swathe anonymity but explains the disjointing of the universe from the earth.

What are some of the primary differences between Egyptian and Mesopotamian?

Egyptians were famous for making triangular pyramids. The pyramids protected the bodies of dead kings. The pyramids were modeled using limestone. However, in Mesopotamia, ziggurats were embraced. These structures were built using mud. Similarly, the Egyptian calendar was more accurate, it had 365 days. The Mesopotamian calendar was made up of 354 days; hence, it was not accurate compared to that of Egyptians. Other differences are Mesopotamia invented more tools such as sailboats and helmets among others compared to Egyptians.

What similar cultural developments emerged in Egypt and Mesopotamia?

Both civilizations modeled pyramids. The Mesopotamians called their pyramids Ziggurats; they were important because they helped the Mesopotamian preserve their harvests and preserve the bodies of their kings. Also, the two civilizations influenced the development of writing systems. Their early writing was done on clay and walls. Moreover, they developed board games for fun and coined mathematical concepts such as geometry and algebra.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "History of Mesopotamia and Egypt." March 27, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-of-mesopotamia-and-egypt/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'History of Mesopotamia and Egypt'. 27 March.

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