Mesopotamia vs. Egypt Essay

When you think about Mesopotamia and Egypt you may think that they are very different. They are, but they also have many similarities and differences as well. Both of these societies have done things that have effected the way we live today. One similarity is they were both polytheistic, meaning that they believed in many gods. Another similarity is the both had their own writing system. Two differences they have are their feelings about the afterlife and their rivers. A similarity between the Mesopotamians and Egyptians is they both had their own writing system.

The Egyptians used hieroglyphics which used pictorial symbols that represented sounds, concepts, or syllables. Because it took so long to learn how to read and write using hieroglyphics, scribes and priest were mainly they only ones who used it. The Mesopotamians used cuneiform. Cuneiform was basically wed-shaped symbols that represented words or syllables. Because so many symbols had to be learned, literacy was confined to a very small group made up of priest and scribes. Cuneiform originated in Mesopotamia but was then used by the Sumerian and Akkadian.

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Another similarity is both the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians were polytheistic, meaning that they believed in many gods. Both believed that everything happened because of the gods, and if you made the gods mad then you would be punished. The Mesopotamians were a little more skeptical about the gods compared to the Egyptians, the Egyptians were very optimistic about the gods. Also, both groups were very dependent on the gods and prayed to them daily. Many of their gods had to deal with nature. A difference between the two is their rivers. The Egyptians relied on the Nile river.

It would flood often, but it was predictable. Because of this, the Egyptians built their homes where they wouldn’t get destroyed. They would also used irrigation to help their crops when the river would flood. The Mesopotamians had the Tigris and Euphrates river. It would flood Mesopotamia at unpredictable times at least once a year. The floods would destroy many homes and buildings. Another difference between Mesopotamia and Egypt is their outlook on death. The Egyptians spent their whole lifetime planning for the afterlife, they even planned their burial.

After death they were mummified and buried with their prized possessions and things such as food to help them along their trip to the afterlife. But the Mesopotamians had a bad outlook on death. They believed they gods were harsh, and did not look forward to the afterlife. As you can see Mesopotamia and Egypt have many similarities and differences. They are similar by both having their own writing systems and they were both polytheistic. They are different because of their outlooks on the afterlife and the flooding of their rivers. Both of these civilizations have shaped us today. Without them we wouldn’t be the world we are now.


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