Tuesday 12 September 2023

Did ancient Egypt come out of Sumerian or Mesopotamia? I don’t think so at all

When considering the advancements of ancient civilizations, Ancient Egypt and Sumer stand out as influential powerhouses. While both civilizations made significant contributions to human progress, Ancient Egypt possessed certain technological advantages that set it apart from Sumer. There are two key areas where Ancient Egypt excelled, providing a deeper understanding of the civilization's unique strengths.

Monumental Architecture:

Ancient Egypt's architectural achievements surpassed those of Sumer, particularly in the realm of monumental structures. The construction of grandiose edifices, such as the pyramids of Giza and the temples of Karnak and Luxor, showcased the Egyptians' extraordinary mastery of engineering and architecture. These colossal structures were not only impressive feats of design but also served as enduring symbols of the civilization's power, religious beliefs, and socio-political systems.

The meticulous planning and execution required to build these monumental structures, employing massive stone blocks and intricate design elements, demonstrated the advanced construction techniques of Ancient Egypt. The precision in aligning structures with astronomical phenomena, such as the orientation of the pyramids to celestial bodies, illustrates their understanding of mathematics and astronomy.

Funerary Practices and Mummification:

Ancient Egypt developed an intricate funerary culture and mummification practices that surpassed the mortuary traditions of Sumer. The Egyptians believed in the afterlife and invested significant resources into ensuring the preservation and protection of the deceased. Through the process of mummification, they perfected the art of preserving bodies, employing complex techniques to maintain the physical form for eternity.

The knowledge and expertise required for successful mummification procedures highlight the Egyptians' understanding of human anatomy, medicinal herbs, and chemical processes. These advancements in mortuary practices provided the foundation for an entire industry dedicated to the afterlife, including the creation of elaborate burial chambers, rich funerary offerings, and intricate tomb decorations. This focus on the afterlife shaped Egyptian society, influencing their religious beliefs, social structure, and artistic expressions.


Ancient Egypt, with a population ranging from 1 million to 2 million people, far surpassed Sumer's population of 100,000 to 150,000. This stark contrast in population size necessitated a more complex administrative system, leading to the development of two distinct writing systems in Egypt. From the earliest times, Egypt employed the religious hieroglyphs for sacred texts and inscriptions, while simultaneously utilizing the administrative hieratic script for practical record-keeping and bureaucratic purposes. In contrast, Sumer, with its smaller population, relied on a single writing system for various societal functions.

Agricultural Innovations:

Ancient Egypt's agricultural advancements extended beyond crop cultivation. The Egyptians ingeniously harnessed the fertile soils of the Nile River through the construction of an elaborate irrigation system. By channeling and controlling the floodwaters, they were able to cultivate crops. The abundance of crops, including wheat, barley, flax, and various crops served as wages, ingredients for bread and beer production, and trade commodities. With a larger population, accurate astronomical observations were crucial to forecast the annual Nile River inundation, ensuring successful harvests and societal stability. This was dressed up in glitzy customs priests and the pharaoh had to perform on behalf of the nation.

Mathematics and Engineering:

Ancient Egypt made significant contributions to mathematics and engineering. Their skill in geometry is evident in the precise alignment and construction of their monuments. The Egyptians developed mathematical techniques for surveying and measuring land, which facilitated the accurate division of agricultural plots and the efficient use of resources. Due to a larger population they calculated volume in advance of building granaries for food and solved more practical problems that related to national security.

Medicine and Healthcare:

Ancient Egyptian civilization exhibited a remarkable understanding of medicine and healthcare. They possessed extensive knowledge of herbal remedies, anatomy, and surgery. Ancient Egyptian physicians utilized various medicinal plants and developed treatments for ailments and injuries. Their expertise in mummification techniques also reflects their advanced knowledge of human anatomy.

While both Ancient Egypt and Sumer made significant contributions to human civilization, Ancient Egypt possessed distinct technological advantages in monumental architecture, funerary practices, mathematics, engineering, healthcare, and medicine. The construction of monumental structures demonstrated their engineering prowess, while their mastery of mummification techniques showcased their understanding of human anatomy and chemistry. By recognizing these unique strengths, we gain a deeper appreciation for the exceptional achievements of Ancient Egypt and its lasting impact on human history.

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