Essay on Geography and Early Civilizations

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Pages: 4

Geography and Early Civilizations

Geography had a tremendous impact on early civilizations, the topography of the different regions played a key role in their development and formation. This statement by Fernand Braudel “ Geography is the stage in which humanity’s endless dramas are played out” (Getz et al., Exchanges, 26) is a very moving and telling description. The terrain, whether it is natural or man made is not the end all, be all. It does however affect the stage a great deal. Mountainous areas act as blockades, which keep the societies independent, plains open up the area, and rivers enable everything to move around freely. 2
In Mesopotamia, the Tigris and Euphrates River played a tremendous role in the formation of this
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As soon as the Egyptians tamed the Nile the area exploded with life. Unlike Mesopotamia, which built over time, Egypt grew at an expeditious rate. Ancient Egypt was a melting pot where immigrants blended cultural practices and technologies (Tignor et al., Worlds Together, 62). The Egyptians used the Niles resources for agricultural purposes as well as a means of communication and travel. 1
The Indus Valley civilization began about 3,500 BCE in what is now modern day Pakistan. People have been living there for more than 9,000 years (Shuter, The Indus Valley, 5). There were two major cities in the region, Harappa in the north and Mohenjo Daro in the south. The civilization and trade routes spread geographically from Iran in the west to central Asia in the north to Assam in the east. The area had influences from local peoples as well as strong immediate influences from Mesopotamia. Settlements began to spring up in and around the Baluchistan Mountains as well as the banks of the river and its tributaries. Just like the Mesopotamian society, agricultural abundance lead to greater wealth for the people, which gave way to urbanization of the villages. The environment of the region had many benefits in comparison to other civilizations. There was a huge water supply from the Himalayan Mountains that keep the crops healthy and Monsoon season did not affect the area. As the farmers honed their skills they began to create and improve the tools of