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River Valley Civilizations Compare and Contrast

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The Nile River Valley Civilization started at the northernmost peak of the Nile River, the Indus River Valley Civilization started along the south-western part of the Indus River. These civilizations Originated around 3000 BCE due to the Neolithic Revolution. These civilizations became important largely because of their agriculture developments. From 3100 BCE to 1900 BCE, the Indus River Valley Civilization and the Nile River Valley Civilization had similar agriculture, geographical benefits and social hierarchy but differed in their ruling class because of the religious denomination in each civilization and the importance of religion in the civilizations.

The two civilizations had great basis agriculture, both had complex irrigation systems and depended heavily on farming. These Irrigation systems are one of the reasons for such a successful agricultural civilization because the irrigation systems take advantage of the fertile soil created from the two rivers. Food surpluses of crops, including barley and wheat in both civilizations, were very important to the development of the civilizations as a whole. The two River Civilizations differed because of the Indus River Valley reliance of trade with China. The Nile River did have an extensive trade route system, with upper and lower routes, however only some livestock was the major import into the civilization. The success in agriculture in both civilizations is the reason for the development of food surpluses and larger civilization such as Harappa in the Indus.

The Indus River Valley and the Nile River Valley shared common geographical benefits. The Indus had natural borders consisting of mountains and the Arabian Sea, sheltering the civilization from attack and disease and the Nile had the Mediterranean and Red Sea as a shelter. These geographical advantages helped prolong the existence of the two civilizations. However the Nile River Valley must have benefited more because they were able to hold off invasions from the Hyksos until 332 BCE, and the Indus River Valley only lasted until 1900 BCE. The two River Valley Civilizations mildly shared a common social hierarchy. Both civilizations had a ruling class, with warriors merchants, farmers and slaves below them, in that order. The
ruling class was different between the two civilizations because the priests ruled in the indus because of the Caste System. This system was the basis of Hinduism and it had the Brahmins or priests on top with a lot of the power because they were closest to the gods. In the Nile the Pharaohs were the top because they were considered to be reincarnations of their gods.

The social classes are also different because the highly developed Nile trading system caused there to be a very large number of merchants. Even though there was a dependence on trade in the Indus and advances, such as the cart, the merchants class was much larger in the Nile. The social classes in two civilizations had a similar base idea but the caste and trade system caused a few differences. In conclusion, the Indus River Valley Civilization and the Nile River Valley Civilization were similar because of how they used irrigation systems and fertile soil to develop agriculture, create food surpluses and advance trade. They were also similar because of their geographical advantages with surrounding seas and mountains. However religion caused some differences such as the caste systems me the hierarchy of Brahmins on top and untouchables on the bottom in the Indus and pharohs at the top and slaves on the bottom of the Nile Civilization. Between 3100 BCE and 1900 BCE the two civilizations showed many similarities and differences but most of it came down to the agriculture in the region.

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