American History



TheHarappan Civilization also known as the Indus Valley Civilization isone of the oldest civilizations in the world history and was thelargest. It covers today’s northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan aswell as northeast India. Like the Egyptian civilization, HarappanCivilization developed new expertise in handcraft and molding withbronze and copper (Fernández-Armesto,2009).In addition, Harappan civilization had great infrastructural designsas those of the Egyptians. Even though they differ in theirstructural works, the planning of cities during the two civilizationsbear several resemblances. The cities that were developed for examplehad baked brick houses, water supply systems, extensive drainagesystems, several non residential buildings among other features. Thebuildings in these civilizations are still in place and are used ashistorical references.

Egyptianand Harappan civilizations were keen on food production. Favored bythe River Nile and fertile soils, Egyptians cultivated differenttypes of crops allowing them to concentrate their resources ontechnology innovation. Food production to the Harappan wasindigenous. The two civilizations produced cereals in large amountswhich supplied food to their populations. Egypt was able to trade itssurplus with its needy neighbors.

WhereasEgyptians engaged in foreign trade in order to obtain the things thatthey did not produce like gold and incense, Harappan economy reliedmainly on trade. It was mainly in transport and was the first tointroduce wheeled transport. They invested heavily on transport andother sectors to support its various systems including technologicaldevelopment.

Inaddition, both the Harappan and Egyptian civilizations were focusedon technological innovations. The origin of weight and measures inHarappan civilization and the development of mathematics and medicinein the Egyptian civilization are examples of the technology of thetwo civilizations (Fernández-Armesto,2009).

Religionbetween the two civilizations has similarities. The Egyptiansbelieved in deities and supernatural powers while that of Harappanexhibited different deities who were ranked in hierarchies. InEgypt, people were buried in tombs. Pharaoh was buried in thearchitecturally magnificent pyramid of Giza. In Harappan, funeralpractices were varied and included supine burial fractional burialwhere the body is exposed to the elements and reduced to skeletonbefore burial or cremation (Fernández-Armesto,2009).

Theleadership aspects of Harappan society and that of the Egyptians varysignificantly. King Hattusili, the king of the Hatti Empire whichtouched Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean clung to power(Fernández-Armesto,2009).They believed in a monarchy type of government where the king passesauthority to his next of kin. In this case, the king did not have anadult son and had to pass power to an infant. This is contrary to theHarappan community which had no rulers and every person enjoyed equalstatus. In essence, no single ruler existed in this society.

TheEgyptians considered foreigners as subordinate and mistreated themwhile in Harappan society, everyone, regardless of their origin wastreated fairly and just. There was no stratification of people inthis society.

TheEgyptians had a legal system with pharaoh being the head of thejustice system, enacting laws, maintaining law and order, anddelivering justice. In Harappan, there was no complex system ofauthority or decision making as evidenced by the uniformity ofHarappan artifacts including bricks, weights, pottery and seals(Fernández-Armesto,2009).


Fernández-Armesto,F. (2009). Theworld: a history: combined volume(Vol. 2). Pearson College Div.

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