Geography and Early Civilizations Essay

917 Words Mar 25th, 2012 4 Pages
Geography and Early Civilizations

Geography had a tremendous impact on early civilizations, the topography of the different regions played a key role in their development and formation. This statement by Fernand Braudel “ Geography is the stage in which humanity’s endless dramas are played out” (Getz et al., Exchanges, 26) is a very moving and telling description. The terrain, whether it is natural or man made is not the end all, be all. It does however affect the stage a great deal. Mountainous areas act as blockades, which keep the societies independent, plains open up the area, and rivers enable everything to move around freely. 2
In Mesopotamia, the Tigris and Euphrates River played a tremendous role in the formation of this
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The Himalayan Mountains as well as the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts isolated the Chinese civilization. This seclusion slowed cultural advancements from taking place in the region. Travelers did eventually arrive in China and brought with them new technologies and goods from outside the region. 1, 3
The Nile River was the life force of ancient Egypt. People from all over the region immigrated to the area for its irrigation waters and rich silt deposits. The geography of the region played a huge role in the way the inhabitants and civilization in general was formed. The main core of Egypt covered 386, 560 square miles, of which only 11, 720 were cultivable (Tignor et al., Worlds Together, 62). The Nile differed itself specifically from the Tigris and Euphrates in that its waters did not irrigate or fertilize nearly as well but it did create green belts along the water. This created a society that flourished along the river. The Nile unlike Mesopotamia did not have a bountiful borderland but did have a desert rich in materials. The Niles predictability as the source of life and abundance shaped the character of the people and their culture. (Tignor et al., Worlds Together, 63). The Nile was peaceful and calm unlike the vicious Tigris And Euphrates Rivers. Egypt with its natural borders, which included the Mediterranean Sea, Deserts, and Large Waterfalls, was very isolated. This helped to achieve
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