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River Valley Civilizations

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To me, the most interesting topic discussed in class or in the textbook would be the River Valley civilizations. There were four separate civilizations, all found on the banks of rivers. Although each one had different characteristics, there are a few facts that remain true of all four civilizations.

The similarities between the civilizations are fairly understandable. First off, the four civilizations were located on rivers. Also, all four civilizations had very similar climates. The climates were warm and dry with seasonal flooding. Each civilization used irrigation to dampen the fairly dry soil between floods. Additionally, all four societies had similarities in politics. Each had kings, who demanded loyalty from all subjects and controlled the food supply.

The first civilization I wish to discuss is the Egyptian River Valley. This civilization first appeared as small groups of settlements around the Nile River. The river provided water and fertile soil for the ancient Egyptians which allowed them to grow crops, including figs, pomegranates, dates and other vegetables. In addition to allowing for agriculture, the river also allowed for mud bricks to build homes, and fish which, with the vegetables they grew, was the entirety of the diet. Also, this civilization had controlled floods, because they based their calendar around the floods. In this society, their kings were depicted as shepherds, although as time went by, the kings were considered Gods.

The second civilization is Mesopotamia. The name means "land between the waters", because this civilization is located between the Tigris and Euphrates. This society has been shown to have had some sort of contact with the Egyptian society. Mesopotamia had no discernable calendar, and this river valley flooded at any time. History has shown that this society recovered a couple times from disaster. Where Egypt was one society with one ruler, Mesopotamia was a series of city-states with different rulers. These city-states developed monumental architecture, mostly for religious bases.

The third civilization is the Harappan society, located in India. This



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