egyptian and mesopotamia art



Though they were close geographically, the differences in their customs put
Mesopotamia and Egypt worlds apart. These two Empires were in some ways radically
different, yet in others, amazingly similar. Both built temples, farmed, had social classes,
had government, and praised many gods. Under their great rulers, these two empires
expanded and developed many things that still effect us in our lives today.
Egypt was located in the Nile River Valley. They used the fertile land and yearly
flood to their advantage. The floods leave huge amount of silt from the highlands with
which to farm. They farmed Cereal crops such as wheat and barley. The Nile also
supplied geese and fish, and wild papyrus which Egyptians wove into rope, mats, baskets,
and paper. Mesopotamia was located to the Northeast of Egypt in the fertile crescent.
Farmers used the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to water their crops. No rain fell in the
summer and unpredictable floods washed away crops and sometimes villages. They
produced mainly grain crops.
Egypt\'s government was led by a king, or pharaoh. Some of the most noteworthy
were Narmer, Ahmose, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaton, Ramses II, and Ramses III.
The Government was a theocracy. That means the king is the political and religious
leader. The Pharaoh also appointed a bureaucracy. Mesopotamian government was
individualized in each city state. Each typically chose a military leader as a king . The
king was a military leader and the high priest, making Mesopotamian government a
theocracy. A king would closely supervise farming because they believed the land
belonged to the gods and goddesses.
Egyptians were polytheistic. This means the worship of many deities. Some of the
more powerful deities were Osiris, god of life, death, and the rebirth of all living things;
Horus, the sky god; and Isis, wife of Osiris. Their religion stressed an afterlife, Egyptians
spent much time and wealth to preparing for a happy afterlife. Every body could hope for
eternal life for Osiris\'s help. Mesopotamians were also polytheistic. Their gods presided
over a specific natural force, such as wind or rain. Each city had its own god or goddess
that it worshipped. Priests and Priestesses often performed rituals and ceremonies to
appease their temperamental gods. Mesopotamians did not expect a happy life after death.
They would preside in a grim, dark, airless underworld where the dead were only
shadows.
Whether you\'re comparing religion, geography, or government of these two
ancient Empires, you will always find the same thing. There are numerous similarities, but
you will always find two or three blaring differences. I would say that the Mesopotamian
empire was more successful because of the time it lasted and the huge area it covered.
They invented the wagon wheel, the potter\'s wheel, and a 12 month calendar. What they
accomplished has effected us greatly in ways we will probably never realize.




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