Sumerians vs. Egyptians

Difference Between Sumerians and Egyptians

Anyone with some knowledge of history can relate to the fact that these two civilizations, i.e. Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations used to be two of the best civilizations of the ancient human history. Sumerians used to live in southern Mesopotamia, or to be more geographically appropriate, around the plains of Tigris and Euphrates around the year 5000 BC. The area that was once taken and inhabited by the Sumerians is presently Iraq. It is interesting to know that one of the meanings of ‘the word Sumer’ is ‘land of the civilized lords.’ However the Egyptian civilization grew up and flourished along the banks of the river Nile.

It is true that both Sumerians and Egyptians used to live on luxuriant plains and managed to construct an advanced farming and political system, nevertheless they had their own set of differences in terms of lifestyle.

The Sumerian people used to worship the god of heaven, the god of air, the god of water and the goddess of earth as deities. However Egyptians were known to worship an incalculable number of holy figures as god and goddess who according to the Egyptians use to control the nature and also live in it. The history tells us that the Egyptians also worshipped certain animals and that they used to have rituals and used to offer sacrifices and other things to their Gods so that they get their favor and help. Even the Pharaoh who used to be the king of Egypt was considered as a living god by the Egyptian people. However there was no such belief among the Sumerians that voices the divinity of human beings.

One of the aspects that set the life style of the Sumerians and the Egyptians apart is their perception death and their belief of afterlife. The Egyptians were firm believer in life after death and they used to have highly structured funeral practices to make sure that the soul can survive after death. Their life style made them mentally equipped for the afterlife as a result of which they were not susceptible to any attack. The Egyptians used to be a race of audacious warriors. However the Sumerians had an instable lifestyle and they were very vulnerable to attack.

Sumerians were the first among the well established and flourished civilization to set up a functional writing system as early as 300BC that was evolved from a series of proto writing that came as early as the mid 4000BC. The writing system adopted by the Sumerians was called the cuneiform script. The Egyptians had a totally different writing style. They used to write on papyrus that was made from reeds. They used to write in a style called the hieroglyphic script that included pictorial illustrations that represented alphabets. On the other hand Sumerians used clay tablets to write anything.


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