The Comparative Essay: Early Civilizations
Complete and submit this assignment by the due date to receive full credit.
1. Compare and contrast key characteristics of two early civilizations (choose from Mesopotamian, Shang, Indus Valley, Chavin, and Phoenician) in terms of three of the following: economy, political system, art and architecture, religion, technology, legacy.
Of the world's first civilizations, all successful and renowned were located on or near a river. The Mesopotamian and Chavín civilizations were no exception to this. Mesopotamia originated in modern-day Iraq in 8000 B.C.E., between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, and the Chavín civilization was located on the
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They accomplished this by carving traditional religious images in a specified order which signified different religious beliefs. In this way the art was used as an organizational tool to help all citizens of the society understand the religious concepts being taught. The Mesopotamians also used art to portray different religious concepts and stories. Unlike the Chavín though, they achieved this by creating sculptures of their Gods. In these sculptures the social importance of the person could be determined by the statue's height and beard length. The ones with the tallest and most complex beards were the gods and lugals, then the priests, all the way down to the worshippers at the shortest end of the spectrum. They would then use these sculptures to tell stories about their religious beliefs. This difference in art of the Chavín and the Mesopotamians can be explained by fact that the Mesopotamians had a standardized written language, called cuneiform, while the Chavín did not. This further advancement of the Mesopotamian people allowed them to use their art as more of an aesthetic pleasure. Unlike the Chavín, who needed their artwork to multipurpose as an explanation of their religion. The two societies of the Chavín and Mesopotamian shared many common struggles of other early river societies. They dealt with many of