In my paper I would like to discuss with you the similarities and the differences between Mesopotamia and Egypt, while they may in fact be different I believe that they are very similar to each other. Maybe because they are so close together in time and very little has had a chance to evolve into something new. Mesopotamia became the world’s first complex society in 3rd Millennium BCE. The Greek meaning of the word ‘Mesopotamia’ means between two rivers and they have earned that name from being located within the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
It can also be known as modern day Iraq, Sira, and Southeast Turkey. Due to Mesopotamia’s agricultural land, water and easy access to neighboring regions, it has allowed the growth of cities and territorial states in its area. Writing in Mesopotamia was pretty interesting to say the least. This was the birthplace of the world’s first writing system, and Sumerians were the world’s first record keepers and readers. They would often use Cuneiform as their main type of writing. As for religion, Sumerians believed the world was inhabited by 3 groups: Gods, Kings, and People.
According to them every religion had a resident god and each god would evolve over centuries. Most of the religious practices occurred in the main temples. Going into trade, most trade for Sumerians often included exchanging textiles, oils, and other commodities for cedarwood, cooper, stones, tins, and lapis lazuli. Due to the open boundaries around Mesopotamia, it, over time, became a crossroads for trade. Now comparing that information to Egypt and Egyptian culture, there were a few things that remained that same over time while other things tended to change and evolve.
Egypt grew out along the banks of the Nile River, and many people that migrated there came from either the Eastern and Western deserts of Sinai and Libya, or from the Mediterranean. These people came from complex cities and settled down down along the Nile creating their own unique culture which in turn created a prosperous state. Due to the fact that literacy was well established by this time, Egypt then became a scribal culture. Many Egyptians were trained as scribes to work in the king’s court, the army, or the Priesthood.
They used two forms of writing, elaborate hieroglyphs and hieratic writing. Between the two, hieratic writing was more popular and was used for record keeping, writing letters, and works of literature. The moment literacy was learned by the people, both Sumerians and Egyptians began drafting historical records and literary compositions. Most writing was used for commemorative and religious purposes. Now speaking of religion, Egyptian beliefs were not so different from Mesopotamian beliefs. In fact, that were quite similar.
In Egypt, every religion had its resident god, and most gods seemed to evolve into single dietes. Just like Mesopotamia most religious practices often occurred in main temples. The primary source chose for Mesopotamia was the ‘Sumerian Origins of Writing’. This source, that dates back to 3200 BCE, talks about a Sumerian myth that informs readers of the invention of cuneiform. Apparently the Lord of Kulaba, Emerkar, did not trust any of his messengers to remember such complex messages that are to be delivered to Aratta, the leader of the far-off land. His speech was substantial, and its contents extensive.
The messenger, whose mouth was heavy, was not able to repeat it, the lord of Kulaba patted some clay and wrote the message as if on a tablet. ” This is a quote straight from the source that, I feel, proves the summary. Because the messenger could not remember the message, the lord then decided to take it upon himself to figure out a new way to get the message delivered. I feel as through the system he created compares greatly to us using pen and paper to rely a message to someone.
The primary source I chose for Egypt was the ‘Egyptian MouthOpening Ritual. In this source, dating back to 2375-2345 BCE, hieroglyphs were found in Pharaoh Unas’s pyramid. These hieroglyphs represent some of the earliest religious writings and tell a story of the pharaoh’s passage into the afterlife. “Your natron is on your mouth: you should clean all your bones and end what is (bad) against you. ” What is being stated here is that because the pharaoh is on his journey to the afterlife, he needs to rid his sins, and cleanse himself.
Get rid of everything bad that he has done or has been done upon him before he completes his journey and arrives in the afterlife. In conclusion, I have analyzed that while some things may be different between Mesopotamia and Egypt, I believe that the two are more alike than you may see. For example, the religion between the two is exactly the same and they are both located near a river, allowing the rivers to contribute to the growth of their societies. These are just some of the factors I feel help justify my above statement.