Challenges of Development in Sumer and Egypt

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An analysis of the two civilizations, Sumer and Egypt reveals one challenge facing human social development: geography and environmental features tend to shape the patterns of civilizations. Although the civilization of Sumer was prosperous and powerful, its geographical features ultimately weakened Sumer, exposing its vulnerability to invasion by neighboring civilizations. Egypt was similar to Mesopotamian civilizations in many ways, but Egypt’s distinct differences led to a distinguished social systems: government, economic, and religion that contributed to the seemingly endless prosperity of the Egyptians. The Sumerians eventually fell to those civilizations that prevailed with more favoring topographic assets. Sumer was located in a region commonly referred to as Mesopotamia. The region expanded within and beside the large Tigris and Euphrates rivers, notoriously known for their catastrophic annual summer flooding. Mesopotamia is bordered to the north by mountain ranges, which flooding in the rivers was a secondary result of the melting snowcaps, and to the southwest by the Arabian and Syrian Deserts. Sumer was located in the southern area of Babylonia, by the delta of the fierce rivers. This created a very challenging, yet rewarding setup for the Sumerian civilization. Topography of the Sumerian civilization worked as a double-edge sword. Without the catastrophic flooding of the rivers, Sumer could not exist because that area had insufficient rainfall to support agriculture. The rivers acted as a life-line for civilizations in the area, providing the necessary continuous re-fertilization of the soil. The vitality of the rivers eventually caused the Sumerian downfall with its uncontrollable and unpredictable flooding.... ... middle of paper ... ..., having that Sumer experienced the unpredictable and catastrophic flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Egypt worshipped Ra, god of Sun, with the Nile providing prosperity, life, and power for the civilizations. This shows the geographic hardships/attributions reflected in the religion of Sumer and Egypt. The non-existent natural barriers for Sumer led the civilization to build a strong military system, unlike Egypt who had natural barriers and did not have a strong military. On a more common platform, both civilizations relied on crops and trading as a basic economic system. Unfortunately, Sumer may have struggled more with agriculture than Egypt due to the flooding circumstances. Both civilizations are prime examples of the theory in which I whole-heartedly agree with: geography and environmental features tend to shape the patterns of civilizations today.

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