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in this lesson, you explored the rise of several distinct civilizations in mesopotamia and egypt. how did geographic conditions shape these civilizations? write an essay in which you consider the benefits and the challenges of geography for mesopotamian and egyptian empires.

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  1. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt both emerged as major civilizations between roughly 3500 and 3000 BCE. These societies allowed human beings, for the first time in history, to settle down in one place and farm instead of chasing their often dangerous wild animal food sources.

    Both civilizations shared similarities and differences in their geography, religions, social structures, and technologies that allowed them to flourish and become two of the most well-known ancient civilizations.
    Ancient civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia didn't have convenience stores where you could pop in for your milk and slushies. Instead, they were the original ''farm to table'' civilizations, where everything revolved around agriculture.

    Both were located in river valleys, which are areas of flat land that has a river running through it. These rivers flooded yearly and the receding water would leave behind fertile soil that was great for planting. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers ran around and through Mesopotamia, forming what's often called ''the Fertile Crescent'', and ancient Egypt had the Nile River running through it. However, Mesopotamia's rivers flooded irregularly in the spring without warning, often causing massive amounts of damage and deaths. Ancient Egypt's river flooded once a year in the summer, and was so timely the ancient Egyptians built their calendar around it.

    It was this reliance on their geography to produce food that led to the creation of Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian religions.

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