Complete 2 page APA formatted essay: Egypt and Mesopotamia before 3000 BC.
Compare and contrast Egypt and Mesopotamia before 3000 BC (religion, society, etc) The Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations share similar and different characteristics. The early civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were influential to civilizations that came after it and they helped shape the culture and civilization of the western world. The civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia are the models of Western civilization. Though, they were not the only civilizations during that period, but what makes them unique is in the fact that the Westerners trace their cultural roots to these two civilizations. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were ruled by kings at a time before 3000 BC. they were also ruled by priestly castes during this period. The powers of ruler ship were shared amongst a few erudite elites. The economies of these two civilizations were slave-driven as slaves formed the major manpower for their productions. Their societies were formed into status groups as they formed castes based on status and it was the privileged people that were at the upper end of the caste system. The religious edifices and palaces of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia civilizations were constructed for governmental and ceremonial purposes. Division of labor was also the basis of production of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Ancient writings of Mesopotamia and Egypt also influenced modern day writings. 1 In the political system of the two civilizations, the Egyptian civilization was ruled by a powerful centralized government, while Mesopotamia was ruled by the governments of regional city-states. The literary tradition of the Mesopotamians was greater than that of the Egyptians. In architecture, the Egyptians built more monumental structures than the Mesopotamians and this was also due to the belief of the Egyptians in the afterlife as they built these structures to honor the dead. Ancient Egypt was an agrarian society, while Mesopotamia was more inclined to an urban way of life. Mesopotamia provided the mathematical system of timing that led to the 360 degree circle and they divided the hour into 60 minutes. The Egyptians on the other hand, divided the years into twelve months, the months into thirty days. Seasons were also part of the things that Ancient Mesopotamia introduced into the world and they also formulated a lunar calendar that would in order to categorize periods that would help them in planting. The Egyptians on the other hand devised the solar calendar that would help them to correctly predict the rising of the waters of the Nile and this is the source of the Western calendar. 2 It should be noted that the Mesopotamians made significant technological advancements than the Egyptians. Though, it is believed that the Ancient Egyptians worshipped more than one god, but they are the originator of the monotheist religion. Having said these, the religion of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia is basically a polytheistic religion. The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians believed in the power of the gods and the goddesses and they believe that it is under the guidance of these gods and goddesses that they exist. The Egyptian goddess, Isis, for example is the goddess of fertility and motherhood and for this reason. every Egyptian woman is expected to be fertile and must have the qualities of a mother. The Mesopotamians do not really have any place for their goddesses and treat their gods with more reverence. The respect of the goddess Isis has made it possible that women in the Egyptian society are more honored than the women in the Mesopotamian society. Any woman in Egypt that is not fertile is not fit to be called a woman not to talk of attaining the status of a woman.3 It has therefore been shown that, there is a strong relationship between the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. These two civilizations provided the platform for other civilizations that came after it as they made groundbreaking achievements in the fields of astronomy and mathematics. Most Western civilizations attribute their cultural heritage to Mesopotamia and Egypt and this further underlines the significance of the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia to the modern world. Bibliography Matthews, Roy. & Platt, Dewitt, The Western Humanities. 5th Ed. New York: McGraw- Hill Higher Education, 2008. Wilson, Frank R. “The Legend of Osiris.” Gods of Egypt. Available from http:// (accessed September 16, 2010)
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