We Built This City

A river is the circulatory system of a successful society. The old civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and China started out small. With the people’s determination and hard-work they reformed their towns. As a result, the rest of the world has based their cities on past progression and they have succeeded in building many civilizations all around the world.

Easy access to water inspired people to make innovations. That helped the only job people had, which was farming. The four places stated above started out on rivers. They had plentiful soil and annual flooding to help with farming, and inventions like the shovel and canals to direct the river water. That led to having a Surplus of Food, which means having more than enough to eat.

Since the farming villages now had so much food, some people could abandon their jobs as farmers and begin new jobs. Many people became craftsmen, making tools, art, and pottery. Some became architects and made homes and places to set up shop. These different jobs helped well-round the civilization.

They owe much of it to the rivers they settled down upon. Mesopotamia had the Euphrates and the Tigris, and Egypt had the long Nile. The Indus Valley had the Indus, and China had the Yellow and the Yangtze. All these rivers had the same thing: the ability to trade. With this great advantage, the Early River Civilizations lived up to their name, and started the best thing since the discovery of fire.

Even though they used many of the same systems to build civilizations, the four cities developed differently. They used diverse methods in writing, worshiping, and ruling. Their towns were set up in various patterns. Now that they had the start of civilization down, they branched out in separate directions, unique to their culture.

Along with all that, they created different and amazing writing techniques. Mesopotamia had the challenging Cuneiform, Egypt had the beautiful Hieroglyphics, and China had the difficult Calligraphy. People nowadays translated these with hard-work and a rock called ‘The Rosetta Stone’. Deciphering the writing of four different places can be tricky, especially if finding the writing is still to be done. The Indus Valley had a form a of writing that archeologists and historians still have yet to uncover.

Gods, Spirits, even Dragons were worshiped in those times. Mesopotamia, for one, built many large Ziggurats where their various gods would be honored. Chinese people prayed to dragons, as well as gods. Egypt had many gods and they exalted and sacrificed to them, thinking they might be rewarded in the deeply-believed afterlife. The Indus Valley religion, so like their writing, has not been discovered yet.

The Indus Valley, though isolated by mountains and desert, had great things: the first indoor plumbing, many pots, pans, and children’s toys were found in their ruins, and nearly perfect grids for streets! China was also isolated, so when they found out how the angel-hair silk was made, they smartly hid the secret of it’s creation from the rest of the world for many years so they would still get massive payments. Mesopotamia was the first city to domesticate animals, which greatly helped when hunters came back with little amounts of meat. Egyptians were famous for burying their dead pharaohs, and sometimes perfectly alive but loyal servants too, and special artifacts in the pyramids so they would be set for the afterlife.

With many similarities and differences, these kingdoms started out with the same types of things. They progressed in various directions and sprouted new civilizations beyond what anyone could have imagined all because people took what they had and made it into amazing useful things to help build their cities. They owe it to the six rivers and their own determination and skill.


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