This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Denielle Barcelona ANTHRO 102A November 15, 2010 Mesopotamia vs. Indus Civilization : At the dawn of civilization, two distinct civilizations appeared in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley: the Sumerians and the Harappans. The Sumerians settled in the valleys between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, a land known as Mesopotamia 1 , while the Harappans appeared in the flood plains of the Indus and Hakra rivers. Though there were some aspects that ancient Mesopotamia and the Indus Civilization shared (such as social structures and economy), their politics stand in contrast to one another. While the Sumerians developed the world’s first monarchy, the Harappans may have developed the first democracy. The Sumerians may have developed a centralized government because the early states that they established needed a new form of government in order to manage and maintain larger areas and diverse peoples, as seen in archaeological evidence. On the other hand, the lack of monumental structures, together with the lack of evidence of militarism and major conflicts, make having a centralized government less obvious in the Indus Civilization. The people of Mesopotamia used irrigation to bring water from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers to the dry farmlands, allowing crops to be grown; agriculture was a huge success, and the population grew. As these people worked together toward 1 1 Bottero, Jean. Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia . pg. 11 common goals, they formed a centralized society with developed forms of religions and ways of governing. Furthermore, the geography of Mesopotamia had a profound impact on the political development of the region. Among the rivers and streams, the Sumerian people built the first cities along with irrigation canals which were separated by vast stretches of open desert or swamp where nomadic tribes roamed. Communication among the isolated cities was difficult and, at times, dangerous. Thus, each Sumerian city became a city-state, independent of the others and protective of its independence. A city-state is a city and its surrounding farmlands, with its own leaders and government. The city-states of Mesopotamia often waged war on outsiders and on each other, to enlarge their farmlands or to protect it. They also waged war over the right to use water supplies. Because of this danger of war, the city-states needed to have a single, strong leader in order to make decisions quickly and wisely. This resulted in the single, strong leader in order to make decisions quickly and wisely....
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 04/20/2011 for the course ANTHRO 102A taught by Professor Jamestruncer during the Fall '10 term at Stanford.
- Fall '10