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The History of Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt

Arts serving political purposes in ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Mesopotamia (the land between rivers) political government consisted of kings who were believed to be from the city of gods. The relation between arts and politics was mainly seen in architecture. This was the pictorial view of buildings and building practices of significant buildings such as; temples, city walls, and palaces. These buildings contributed to the political supremacy of Mesopotamia where even monumental buildings were elected (Van de Mieroop, p. 114). Temples and palaces were uniquely used to represent the political class and were done in special art designs. The palaces were huge and artistically decorated and functioned as socio-economic and power icons in the dynasty. Colored clay and beautiful reliefs were used to decorate buildings a good example of such a building is the palace which was the Khorsabad (Grimal, p. 65).

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Arts expressing religious ideas in ancient Egypt

Unlike the Mesopotamians, the Egyptian kings were regarded as gods. They were polytheistic with the main god being the sun god; others were Isis, Horus, and Osiris. Religion was connected to the arts in the temples. They performed many rites for the many gods and they believed that that was to preserve the order of the world. The gods had been sculptured into idols and were placed in the temples for the people to worship them. Great reference and respect were accorded to the temples and the idol gods. This great tradition gave the religious ideas of the Egyptians which they used art as a means to support them (Grimal, p. 72).

Cultural differences between Mesopotamia and Egypt connected to geographic differences

The two ancient kingdoms shared many traits as much as differences. The culture includes; festivals, music, games, family life, burials, and religion. Egyptians were religious optimists who set up a bureaucratic government that was transmitted to the social society, whereas in Mesopotamia life is viewed optimistically and thus resulting in a diverse social system that had a decentralized political government. In agricultural views there were problems of flooding in the Egyptian side which favored an intense program of agriculture through irrigation (Grimal, 86) which was the case in Mesopotamia; though they practiced agriculture they never had an organized agricultural system. This agricultural system contributed to the religious perspective where they believed that life is orderly and beneficial. That’s why they made the afterlife easier by preserving the bodies of mummies. The Mesopotamians on the other hand believed that they had a role and duty to serve God and this made them attach religion to government (Van de Mieroop, p. 125).

The two ancient communities had a tri-system of society, which were; the royalty, the priests and officials and free land-owning; farmers and artisans; and the slaves/prisoners. And the males were dominant in both societies but the social systems were less significant in Egypt and the omen had more rights than in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia had a culture of pottery which they made using the potter’s wheel, while in Egypt used simple machines in building monuments and pyramids (Van de Mieroop, p. 95).

Contemporary American views of death and the afterlife similar to and/or different from the views of ancient Mesopotamians and or Egyptians

The views of death and life in American and ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt are similar in that they all believed in supreme beings. They all have reference to God and believe that He is supreme and controls and rules over the entire universe (Van de Mieroop, p. 110). They all believe in the afterlife but the contemporary Americans and the Mesopotamians do not transform bodies to mummies or attach a great reference to those that pass on.

Works Cited

  1. Grimal, Nicolas. A History of Ancient Egypt. California: Blackwell Books. 1992. Print
  2. Van de Mieroop, Marc. A history of the ancient Near East ca 3000-323 BC. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 2004. Print

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StudyCorgi. "The History of Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt." December 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The History of Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt." December 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The History of Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt'. 30 December.

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