Sumerians vs Egyptians
The difference between Sumerians and Egyptians are various as they were part of two different civilizations. It is a well-known historical fact that both Sumerian and Egyptian were great ancient civilizations. Sumerians lived on the plains of Tigris and Euphrates, known as southern Mesopotamia, around 5000 BC. The Egyptian civilization, on the other hand, flourished on the banks of the Nile River. Although both Sumerians and Egyptians preferred to live on fertile plains and built up advanced agricultural lands and political systems, they showed differences too between them. They indeed showed differences in their ways of life. Let us see more about these two civilizations and the difference between Sumerians and Egyptians in detail.
Who are Sumerians?
The members of the Sumerian civilization are known as the Sumerians. They lived on the plains of Tigris and Euphrates, known as southern Mesopotamia, around 5000 BC. This area occupied by the Sumerians is the present day Iraq. One of the meanings of ‘Sumer’ is ‘land of the civilized lords.’ The deities worshipped by the Sumerians were the god of heaven, the god of air, the god of water and the goddess of earth. The Sumerians did not worship their king as a god.
It is to be known that the Sumerians were the first ever well-known civilization to develop a system of writing that was progressed from a proto writing of mid 4000BC. The system of writing employed by the Sumerians was called by the name cuneiform. They used clay tablets for writing purposes.
The Sumerians were very much vulnerable to attack and their life was exposed to volatility. As a result, they did not take death as an event to which they have to prepare extensively. Only normal, simple rituals were followed in the case of death.
Who are Egyptians?
Egyptians were the members of the Egyptian civilization, which thrived at the banks of the Nile River and is believed to have first evolved in about 3150 BC. They are the creators of the pyramids that are still a wonder to humans. Egyptians were an advanced civilization that offered much to the world.
When it comes to gods, Egyptians worshipped an innumerable number of gods and goddesses who were believed to be present in, and in control of the nature. They even worshipped individual animals. They believed in rituals and offerings to god, appealing for their help. It is interesting to note that the pharaoh, the king of Egypt was looked upon as a living god by the Egyptians.
One of the main differences between the Sumerians and the Egyptians in their ways of life is their understanding of the phenomenon of death and their conception of life after death. The Egyptians believed in afterlife and had elaborate funerary practices to ensure the survival of their souls after death. They were not vulnerable to attack as Sumerians as they led lives that prepared them for the afterlife. They were courageous and great warriors.
When it comes to the writing system during Egyptian civilization, the Egyptians used papyrus made from reeds for writing purposes. As a result, you can find more records about Egyptians history as papyrus was not hard to find or create.
What is the difference between Sumerians and Egyptians?
Sumerian and Egyptian were the two great ancient civilizations.
• Sumerian civilization was along the plains of Tigris and Euphrates, which is the present day Iraq.
• Egyptian civilization was along the Nile valley.
• Sumerian civilization is believed to have first evolved between 5500 and 4000 BC.
• Egyptian civilization is believed to have first evolved in about 3150 BC.
• Sumerians worshiped the heaven, earth, air, and water. They considered these four as gods.
• Egyptians recognized more number of gods and goddesses than the Sumerians and even worshipped individual animals.
• Worshipping the King:
• The Sumerians did not consider their ruler as a living god and worship him.
• The Egyptians considered their king, the Pharaoh, as a living god and worshipped him or her too.
• Sumerians were satisfied in worshipping the four main gods that they believed created life. Their rituals were simple.
• Egyptians had institutionalized religious rituals and believed in offerings to gods to get their help.
• Preparation for Death:
• Sumerians did not prepare for death or the afterlife in a grand manner.
• Egyptians believed in life after death. They also had great preparations for afterlife as they had preparations for everything in their lives.
• The Sumerians had a state based government where each state operated as they wanted.
• Egyptians had a central government led by the king that controlled everything in the country.
• Writing Technology:
• Sumerians were the first ever civilization to develop a system of writing. Sumerians used clay tablets for writing purposes.
• Egyptians used papyrus to write.
- Tigris river by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- God Ra via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
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