Apart from Mesopotamia, another civilization emerged in the northeastern part of Africa. By 3000 B.C., the Egyptian civilization had been formed. It is partly arguable that the Egyptian civilization was influenced by the developments in Mesopotamia. Such developments bordered on technology and trade (Benton and DiYanni 27-55). However, the Egyptian civilization produced a different culture. The primary difference emanated from political organization and art. Farming was the primary economic activity in the Egyptian civilization. Growing trade with Mesopotamia gave the way to the development. Egyptian politics remained autocratic. The city-state arrangement was notably absent as a unified state was preferred. The Egyptian civilization was epitomized by the strength of pharaoh. Pharaoh was seen as a descendant of the gods. Later, the pharaoh assumed a godly status. Egyptian civilization also extended to art.
Agriculture and trade were key activities of the Egyptian civilization (Benton and DiYanni 29). The growth of trade allowed the civilization to develop and expand economically. For instance, trading facilitated the formation of kingdoms within the entity. Unlike Mesopotamia and other civilizations, the Egyptian civilization changed from pre-civilization to the form of unitary government units. Thus, the Egyptian civilization bypassed the city-state stage. However, the civilization used force to conquer the local kingdoms. The use of force may explain the relative peace that the civilization enjoyed. By the turn of 3100 B.C., the southern part had conquered the northern part leading to the formation of a unitary state (Benton and DiYanni 27-55). The state lasted for up to three hundred years in spite of considerable interruptions. By 1000 B.C., monarchical rule had arisen. During the monarchical rule, pharaoh was the ultimate authority.
The aspects that strike most about the Egyptian civilization border on government stability and religious rituals. In my view, Egypt’s adoption of a centralized approach was a critical choice. At such an early age, it baffles observers that it was possible to organize large groups of people under one government. Moreover, the Egyptian civilization caught my attention concerning death, funeral monuments, and the use of mummification for preservation purposes. The death rituals of the Egyptian people implied that death was not the end of life. Alternatively, the treatment of the deceased implied that they occupied a special place. There was also a strong link between the political structures and funeral arrangements.
The leaning towards art is perhaps a significant difference between the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. The Egyptian civilization developed the hieroglyphic alphabet which they used extensively (Benton and DiYanni 27-55). The hieroglyphic alphabet was based on pictorial abstraction. Object pictures were used to represent given sounds or concepts. In Mesopotamia, writing was also used. However, in Mesopotamia, writing was more complex and was monopolized by the priestly group. Egyptians were able to develop a writing material, the papyrus. This development contributed to the enhancement of record keeping substantially.
Benton and DiYanni (27-55) observed that the Egyptian civilization was based along the river Nile. On the other hand, the Mesopotamian civilization was situated between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The aspect of rivers is common although the Mesopotamian civilization was between the rivers while the Egyptian civilization was along the river Nile. In addition, the issue of religion is similar among the citizens of both Mesopotamia and Egypt. In this regard, priests played a critical role in spiritual matters. Also, as it is observed, the movement from pre-civilization to a unitary form of government presented a departure from the phases of development that Mesopotamia charted.