Advantages From The Nile River

In the ancient world, more specifically Egypt and Mesopotamia, the societies each relied on their surrounding elements to thrive. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia are well remembered for their technological advancements in agriculture. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were two major civilizations that both thrived and grew throughout this period. Each Civilization had key geographical features that contributed to their success. For example, Egypt had a vast desert and the Nile River, whereas Mesopotamia had very fertile land. Ancient Egypt had had more geographical advantages that helped them to thrive because of the Nile River and how it provided trade routes, a source of food, and a geographical barrier.

Although Egypt and Mesopotamia were two different civilizations and were in completely different time periods, they had some similarities and differences. Both civilizations started near a river that significantly helped their civilizations prosper. The Nile River was the center of Egypt, And the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were defining characteristics of Mesopotamia. The Civilizations also used irrigation systems to help their farmland grow and develop. However, the Nile River had way more benefits than the Tigris and Euphrates. In the book Ancient Egypt Revealed, it states that “Thousands of years, Egyptians boats traveled up and down the Nile River”. This means that the Nile River was used for trade and transportation bringing more money into Egypt. The two rivers in Mesopotamia, unlike the Nile, would sometimes flood, “uncontrollably, destroying everything in its path”.

Between Egypt and Mesopotamia, Egypt had a clear benefit in its geographical characteristics for many different and important reasons. The main reason Egypt had an advantage was the Nile River. Some might think, how could one river create such an advantage? To answer that there are three important reasons. The first reason is that the Nile River created a lot of trade opportunities. Because the flow of the River goes from South to North and flows into the Mediterranean Sea, it allowed ships to pass through carrying goods that could be traded. In a very hot and dry climate, the Nile was an essential source for providing food. On the bank of the Nile animals such as ducks, and geese could be hunted, and when the Nile River flooded it covered the land with nutrient-filled soil. Finally, the Nile River provided a massive geographical barrier. Flowing close to 4700 miles filled with some rocky and harsh rapids does a very good job of defending Egypt against its enemies.

Others might think that Mesopotamia had more geographical features. The name “The land between the two rivers” means that Mesopotamia’s location was based between the rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates. The two rivers created very fertile soil that was very beneficial for planting and harvesting crops. The fertile soil has been known to draw more settlers for thousands of years. Unlike Egypt where the weather was very hot and dry Mesopotamia had the perfect climate for growing crops and starting a civilization. Lastly, the technology was very advanced. Since Mesopotamia was one of the first civilizations they had to create all of their technology. One of the everyday items used today, the wheel, was innovated in Mesopotamia around 4000 BCE. Without Meseopotamia other civilizations like Egypt could not thrive as easily because they would not have all of the Mesopotamian inventions like the wheel for chariots.

In conclusion, the geography of Egypt had many more benefits than the geography of Mesopotamia. Ancient Egypt had more of an advantage because the Nile river provided protection, a way to trade with other countries, and was a major source of food. Although the land of Mesopotamia was more friendly to the average settler and the Mesopotamians created beneficial technology, the land in Egypt had many more and better advantages. Overall we can see that Egypt outdid Mesopotamia with many geographical advantages that aided the flourishment of Egypt throughout the early 3000’s.

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Mesopotamia. Facts On File, 2002. Accessed December 2, 2020.
Blackwell, Amy Hackney. "Climate and Geography in the Ancient Near East." Climate and Geography in Ancient History. Facts On File, 2019. Accessed December 8, 2020.
Bunson, Margaret R. "Nile." Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Revised Edition. Facts On File, 2002. Accessed December 7, 2020.
Chrisp, Peter. Ancient Egypt Revealed. New York: DK Publishing, 2002. 
Diamond Reed, Kelly-Anne. "Climate and Geography in Ancient Egypt." Climate and Geography in Ancient History. Facts On File, 2019. Accessed December 2, 2020.