Early Civilizations Project

By J. Barrett, J. Dougherty, M. Monaghan, and M. Oaster


Writing in Ancient Egypt was very important during the time of this civilization. They developed many different forms of writing which made trade and the spread of ideas much easier. The first form of writing were the pictograms which were drawing of objects in which they represented, which was invented by early civilizations. The Egyptians first form of writing, hieroglyphics, was based off of pictograms and were a form of picture writing. Hieroglyphics were used to keep important records. The Egyptians also developed another form of writing called the ideograms which were pictures that symbolized an idea or action. Scribes would later develop the demotic, or a simpler form of writing for everyday use. Ancient Egyptians have developed many different forms of writing, however, they didn't use an alphabet or symbols, rather drawing pictures to communicate.

Writing in modern times is key for learning, trade and communication. In the United States and other countries, our system or writing is explained as the alphabet. The alphabet contains letters that represent spoken sounds which was developed by the Phoenicians in about 700 B.C. The Phoenicians developed this because they needed a quick and flexible form of writing to record business deals. The Greeks adapted to the Phoenician alphabet and added symbols for vowel sounds. From the Greek alphabet came the alphabet we use to this day. This alphabet is used in many different languages, however, the spoken sounds might differ from each other.

Writing in Ancient Egypt and modern times have many similarities and differences. They are similar because both forms of writing were used for learning, trading and communicating. They are different because in Ancient Egypt, their main form of writing was expressed through pictures depicting words or actions; whereas, in modern times we use letters representing spoken sounds. Also, the form of writing in Egypt took long to write and compose and could be difficult to comprehend; whereas writing now, it doesn't take long and is much easier to understand. As we see here, systems of writing have developed and changed over the course of time.

Complex Religion

Egyptian religion had many gods. They had a god for the sun moon stars the Nile they even believed the Pharaoh was a god. They believed in life after death and would mummify their dead. The dead would've buried with their possessions in case they needed them in the afterlife. When you died your heart was measured against the feather of Isis. If your heart weighed more you would be eaten. Egyptians believed everything you did would affect your afterlife whether it was good or bad. For this time this religion was very complex. They were very faithful.

Mesopotamian religion consisted of a very large amount of gods. They had gods for everything from Kulla, the god of bricks to help them build, to the goddess Lama for protection. In Mesopotamia, the goal of ones life was to live in concert with the gods. The gods were a part of their everyday lives and their lives pretty much revolved around their gods. In the middle of each city was a sacred temple that was dedicated to the city's patron god. The patron gods temple was always the largest but there were many smaller temples dedicated to other gods throughout the rest of the city. The Mesopotamians believed in an afterlife. They believed that there was a paradise where the immortal gods dwelled, and a dark, dreary underworld where no spirit returned.

Modern Religion

Modern religion is a large collection of religious beliefs. There are many types of religion including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and many more. In Christianity, we believe in one god in heaven who created everything. There are several different branches of Christianity such as catholic, baptist, and more. In Judaism, they follow the scripts of the Torah. This religion began with Abraham around 2000-1800 in the area of Canaan. Buddhism began with a man known as "Buddha" who traveled through Northern India giving speeches to groups of people. Buddhism has several different forms such as Buddhists who prefer rituals and worshiping deities, and those who reject both in favor of pure meditation.

Arts and Architecture

Egypt arts and architecture:
One of the greatest agricultural structures of ancient Egypt are the pyramids of Giza. It is the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Despite being built and opened in 2540 B.C it is still intact today. Another agricultural structure of ancient Egypt is the greet sphinx. It was built with limestone about 3001 B.C and sits on the Giza plateau on the west bank of the Nile river. There are many different arts from ancient Egypt. Some of these arts include paintings of rulers and different types of literature. The types of literature are hymns, proverbs, prayers, and love poems. Another one of the arts are pottery. The ancient Egyptians used steatite and carved small pieces of vases, amulets, and several other objects.

Modern day arts and architecture:
In modern times there are numerous amounts of architectural structures. Some of these structures are the freedom tower and the pentagon. The freedom tower was constructed as a memorial to those who died due to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. The pentagon was constructed to house the United States department of defense and is located in Arlington, Virginia. Modern day arts have a variety of different forms. Modern day art is painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpting, computer and digital graphics, and visual design.

Compare and contrast:
One similarity between ancient Egyptian and modern day architecture is the fact that the ancient Egyptians and modern day people both create structures starting with a basic design. A similarity between ancient Egyptian and modern day arts is that even though modern art has more forms, just like the Egyptians, they still use basic forms of art such as drawing and sculpting. A difference between Egyptian and modern day architecture is the difference in the materials used to build the structures. Egyptians used stone materials such as low-grade limestone and mud bricks to build and today we use materials like metals and concrete. A difference between the arts of ancient Egyptians and modern times is that the Egyptians were limited to the resources to produce paintings and artistic pieces and today we have a vast variety of things to create art with.