Lesson 2: Comparing/Contrasting Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt A civilization is a society in an advanced state of social development.
Geography of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia (what is now Iraq) is located between the TigrisRiver and the Euphrates River.
The oldest civilization, Sumer, is found in this region.
The Fertile Crescent is a fertile arc of land from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea through Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf. Rich soil in this region allowed the Sumerians to grow a lot of cropsand thus develop a civilization.
A city-state is a city and its surrounding territory. The city-states were surrounded by great walls to offer protection.
The people of Mesopotamia were polytheistic -- they believed in many gods. The ziggurat was a massive stepped tower with a temple in the top of it, believed to be homes for gods and goddesses.
The Egyptians also believed in many gods. The most important god was Ra, the god of the sun. The Egyptians practiced mummification, a process completed to preserve the body so that the soul could stay in the afterlife.
Mesopotamia was split into three social groups: nobles, commoners, and slaves.
Egypt had a hierarchical social structure with the Pharaoh located at the top.