River Valley Civilizations

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In this paper, the research will compare and contrast some of the river valley civilizations’ religion, government and how they controlled nature which allowed them to thrive. River valley civilizations are the first recorded civilizations and they get their name because each of them depended on a river to survive and to thrive. The two civilizations being focused on in this paper will be Egypt and Sumer, both of which achieved great things during their existence. Ancient religion developed for several reasons. Most times, ancient people developed religion as a source of hope. Living in river valleys in ancient times was dangerous for many reasons, mainly because of rivers. Although the river helped provide them with sustenance, the river…show more content…
Both had many very impressive advancements, for example Sumer was the first to use bronze. Some of the most impressive things ever built are Egyptian pyramids. They were made of 2 to 15 ton blocks and some of the pyramids reach to over 481 feet tall. The Egyptian government was led by Pharoahs; the Pharoahs was seen as living gods by the ancient Egyptians. In early Egypt, there was a lower and upper Egypt. King Narmer unified the upper and lower around 3000 B.C. One of the most famous rulers in ancient Sumer was Hammurabi. Hammurabi was famous for his “codes” because he was the first to have set laws and he expected the citizens to know and follow them. The code of Hammurabi was a stone figure with the laws carved into it. This was an ingenious advance in government considering the method is still used. Egypt also had advancements to government, but not quite as important as Hammurabi’s codes. Ancient Egypt was the first civilization to allow people to change social class. In Egypt, one could change into another social class, most times it was by marriage, but sometimes it could be from merit. Most times, in other river valley civilizations, people from different social classes rarely interacted. Ancient Egypt being the only ancient river civilization allowing social interaction between all classes was of great importance and a major achievement for the…show more content…
Sumer and Egypt weren’t the two most ground breaking of the river valley civilizations, but they did have some interesting innovations. Although irrigation didn’t originate in Sumer, Sumerian society did develop its own irrigation system that brought water from the river to crops. The irrigation system allowed ancient Sumerians to have water even when the river was low which was lifesaving because they could keep their crops and livestock alive during a drought. Egypt also had their own invention for irrigation, therefore, both Sumer and Egypt were not the first in the history books to develop irrigation, however, both developed their own original system. In Sumer, they came up a different type of irrigation that controlled the floods. They would build a larger version of their crop irrigation, so instead of it flooding their village it would flood the irrigation. In Egypt, they saw the river as one of their main gods so this was their attempt at controlling nature. Religion was a huge part of most river valley civilizations and was a way of controlling nature. In Sumer, they built walls as protection around their cities to make up for their lack of natural barriers, and this was yet another example of controlling nature. Natural Barriers was one of the more important features of an

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