This essay is comparing the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Essay by xolyssxoJunior High, 9th gradeA, January 2006

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Egypt and Mesopotamia are both river valley civilizations. Rivers help sustain civilization because the land around rivers supplies rich soil and large quantities of crops. A growth of crops allows cities to expand. Because of this Both Egypt and Mesopotamia created their own forms of government. Egypt and Mesopotamia were both polytheistic; however they had different cultures and different ways of worshiping their gods. The social classes were basically the same in Egypt and Mesopotamia The rulers were most important while the slaves were hardly important at all. They both developed writing systems based on pictures.

Mesopotamia is located between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers on the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent. These rivers overflow and leave a deposit of rich soil. However, Mesopotamians didn't know when the river would overflow and it sometimes flooded the people and villages and destroyed crops. Because of this, Mesopotamians had to create irrigation systems to grow steady crops.

To take political and economic control, the Mesopotamians formed city-states, which was their basic unit of civilization. The Mesopotamians used mud bricks to build ziggurats, which were buildings for their gods and goddesses. Elaborate houses were built for priests and priestesses, who were believed to serve the gods and had much power. Since the Sumerians believed the gods ruled the cities, the state is a theocracy. Mesopotamians developed a writing system called cuneiform, which was wedge shaped writings on clay tablets.

Egypt civilization was built around the Nile River. Unlike the rivers in Mesopotamia, the Nile's floods were gradual and predictable. The river was seen as life giving, not life threatening. Egypt was ruled by pharaohs, not priests. Members of the pharaoh's family helped run the country. A vizier was a "steward of the whole land"...