Comparison essay on Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, one page max

Essay by van_EcksJunior High, 9th grade October 2004

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Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt

The first, true civilizations in ancient times both formed near prominent rivers. These first civilizations developed in the Middle East, Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates and Egypt by the Nile River. Egypt and Mesopotamia are examples of some early river-valley civilizations that relied heavily on its geographies and the surrounding environment. Mesopotamian civilization featured a distinctive culture and was the home of the world's first set of laws. The Egyptian civilization formed near the Nile River and in the Sahara desert, so a strong society was needed to prosper in this harsh environment. As both civilizations formed close to important rivers and fertile land, they developed similarly.

Mesopotamia and Egypt were both highly agricultural civilizations that relied upon their nearby rivers to survive. Mesopotamia was originally divided into two lands, Sumer and Akkad, until both of these lands became one land called Babylonia, a mostly flat country.

As Babylonia had little natural defenses, it was open to invasion and was overtaken quite often; the Assyrians were the last to rule this land before the Persians conquered them. Mesopotamian architecture consisted of pyramid-like buildings called ziggurats and their system of writing was cuneiform. The Sumerians created cuneiform around 3500 BC and cuneiform began as a system of pictographs. Mesopotamian civilization went into decline and ended around 2300 BCE. The Egyptian civilization started later on though it survived for a longer period of time.

Ancient Egypt lasted between about 3000 BCE until the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE. As a civilization based on irrigation it is the quintessential example of an hydraulic empire. A hydraulic empire is a civilization that arises through the need for flood control and irrigation, which in turn leads to a strong, central government. The ancient Egyptians...