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Egypt's Natural Isolation and Culture

Essay by   •  August 25, 2011  •  Essay  •  788 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,698 Views

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Sorry... :3 Will update soon so yeah.... ancient Egypt. Egypt's natural isolation and material self-sufficiency fostered a unique culture that for long periods had relatively little to do with other civilizations and they were free from invasion. Unlike the Mesopotamians, the Egyptians needed no dams or weirs to raise the level of the water and divert water into the channels. Moreover the Nile, unlike the Tigris-Euphrates, flooded at the best time for grain agriculture. The dependable climatic rhythm of life in ancient Egypt led to a religion that contained benevolent gods and gave them centuries of continuity in politics, religion and society.

Politically, because they were geographically open to envision, Mesopotamia culture created compact self-governing political units- the city-states. By the third millennium B.C.E. the concept of king (lugel) developed, quite possibly because of increased quarrels over resources. The power of religious leaders decreased as the power of kings increased. And although the kings took over control of temples, Mesopotamian kings did not claim divine power. Political changes occurred in Mesopotania because of the succession of people that followed the initial Sumerian people, like the Akkadians, the Kassites Medes and Persians who established their temporary political dominance. From the 3,000- 1500 B. C. E. the longest dynastic rule in Mesopotamia history is that of Sargon I that lasted but 150 years. By 1750 B. C. E., the written law code of King Hammurabi, was used to maintain political authority and continuity.

In sharp contrast is the continuity of political history in ancient Egypt. Legendary King Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt into one nation that lasted with continuity of culture from 3,100-1070 B. C. E. with thirty dynasties. Unlike Mesopotamian kings, the Egyptian king was represented as Horus and as the son of Re, and fit into the pattern of the dead returning to life and the climatic renewing life of the sun-god. As Egypt's chief priest, he intervened with the gods on behalf of his people and land. No written law code was developed in Egypt. Egypt was substantially more self-sufficient than Mesopotamia with copper and turquoise deposits in the Sinai desert to the east and gold from Nubia to the south were within reach. The pharaoh governed the country through a large efficient bureaucracy.

Urbanized societies foster social divisions, that is, obvious variations in the status and privileges of different groups according to wealth, social function, and legal and political rights. In highly urbanized Mesopotamia, specialization of function, centralization of power, and use of written records enabled certain groups to amass unprecedented wealth. Male domination of the position of scribe- an administrator or scholar charged by the temple or palace with reading and writing tasks- further complicates efforts to reconstruct the lives of

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