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Early Civilizations - Essay Example
Geographical location and natural environment had a great impact on civilizations and their social, economic, political and cultural development. Environment influenced outlooks, philosophies and early religious traditions of the civilizations determining their attitude towards the world around and other people…
The example of China and Mesopotamia vividly portray that geographical location and climate in different parts of the world 'caused' similar traditions, economic, social and political development.
Geographical location and environment determined the nature of both societies and their activities. In China (during the Shang and Han Dynasties) and Mesopotamia (Sumerian period) agriculture was the main activity and the core of economy. This issue remained a central one in both civilizations: for some, it remained crucial to the maintenance of an 'enduring' national home: and for others, it represented a fundamental obstacle to the creation of more accommodating and cosmopolitan cultural order. China and the Mesopotamia had similar climate and soil conditions, but lacked water resources and irrigation systems. Irrigation was also associated with urbanization, which, in its turn, led to development of crafts and trade (Ebrey 34). Both civilizations developed unique rural culture and values, traditions and art based on the cults of Sun and farming. For instance, the remarkable features of the Shang Dynasty (began about 1600 BC- 1046 BC) and the Sumerian period (5th to 3rd millennia BC), were cultural identity, self-centeredness, unique philosophy and literary traditions explained by the fact that both civilizations were separated from the rest of the world. ...