Mesopotamia And Egyptian Civilization In Egypt

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Besides Mesopotamia, a second civilization grew up in northeastern Africa, along the Nile
River. Egyptian civilization, formed by 3000 B.C., benefited from trade and technological influence from Mesopotamia, but it produced a quite different society and culture. Because its values and its tightly knit political organization encouraged monumental building, we know more about Egypt than about Mesopotamia, even though the latter was in most respects more important and richer in subsequent heritage.

Unlike Mesopotamia and the Middle East, where an original river-valley basis to civilization ultimately gave way to the spread of civilization throughout an entire region, Egyptian civilization from its origins to its decline was focused on the Nile River and the deserts around it. The Nile focus also gave a more optimistic cast to Egyptian culture, for it could be seen as a source of never- failing bounty to be thankfully received, rather than a menacing cause of floods. Egyptian civilization may at the outset have received some inspiration from Sumer, but a distinctive pattern soon developed in both religion and politics.

Farming had been developed along the Nile by about 5000 B.C., but some time before 3200 B.C. economic development accelerated, in part because of growing trade wi,h other regions including Mesopotamia. This economic acceleration provided the basis for the formation of regional kingdoms. Unlike
Sumer, Egypt moved fairly directly from precivilization to large
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