Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were two civilizations which had similarities as well as differences. Apart from the geographical layout, the basic life was also different and both civilizations had weaknesses as well as strengths. Mesopotamia was primarily focused in the river-valley that was between rivers Euphrates and Tigris although its civilization ended up spreading to the entire region (Bernholz, Peter and Roland 11). However due to erratic and at times destructive flooding, its civilization was marred with challenges as their culture got affected. This was one of the weaknesses of its civilization. Its strength was based on the fact that it had a continuous flow of water in addition to fertile soil that could be cultivated with ease. Moreover, deposits of clay helped them make bricks that were used to sculpture beautiful structures. The close relationship amongst its people also helped them to share ideas and come up with innovations such as writings as pointed out by Shortland, Andrew, Nick and Katherine (786).

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On the other hand, Ancient Egypt civilization’s strength lied on the focus it had on River Nile and the desert that surrounded it. This is because they viewed the river as a bounty which was received by appreciations and they never focused on the floods (Snell 136). This helped the civilization to grow and develop rampantly. Their strength was also evident in the government structure due to its unification with the Nile River. However, the regime also exhibited weaknesses in terms of advancement. It was poorly advanced as compared to Mesopotamia which had great developments in mathematics and astronomy. Another weakness was their view of Pharaoh as a divinity, therefore getting blinded by the system.

The most influential innovation of the Mesopotamia was their form of writing that developed into record keeping as was done on clay tablets. They also used hieroglyphics to write down complex ideas as pointed out by Carmona, Salvador and Mahmoud (186). This led to development of over two thousand characters. Mathematics was another invention that was most influential as well as astronomy as pointed out by Bernholz et al. (14). They used base 60 in mathematics and an hour was also composed of sixty minutes. The wheel is also another innovation that was most influential until presently.

On the other hand, in Ancient Egypt the Pyramids were invented and remain to be a wonder even today as pointed out by Shortland et al. (793). Its Papyrus Sheets are also influential since all other civilizations used clay tablets. It was one of the most important writing materials for a long time. The Ox-drawn plough is another innovation and as pointed out by Carmona et al. (201); it revolutionized agriculture and it is still used to date. The sickle is yet another invention of the Egyptians that many people today use to harvest grains such as rice.

Features such as the Egyptian calendar did not last long because it failed to account for the additional fractional fraction of a day, making it regularly incorrect. Shadoof features are also long forgotten as pointed out by Thompson (265), considering that it has not been used for a long time. In Mesopotamia, the Cursive writings did not last because of other inventions of writings that developed thereafter and overtook its popularity. In addition, its complex mathematics did not maintain existence for a long time since their base 60, a form of sexagesimal, is no longer in use as pointed out by Snell (321).

 

Works Cited

Bernholz, Peter, and Roland Vaubel. “The Political Economy of Monetary and Financial Innovation: Introduction and Overview.” Explaining Monetary and Financial Innovation. Springer International Publishing, 2014. 1-16.

Carmona, Salvador, and Mahmoud Ezzamel. “Accounting and accountability in ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.” Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal20.2 (2007): 177-209.

Shortland, Andrew, Nick Rogers, and Katherine Eremin. “Trace element discriminants between Egyptian and Mesopotamian late Bronze Age glasses.” Journal of Archaeological Science 34.5 (2007): 781-789.

Snell, Daniel C., ed. A companion to the ancient Near East. John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Thompson, William R. “Climate, water, and political-economic crises in ancient Mesopotmia and Egypt.” The World System and the Earth System: Global Socioenvironmental Change and Sustainability Since the Neolithic (2007).