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Difference Between Sumerians and Egyptians

egyptianSumerians vs Egyptians

The Sumerians and the Egyptians were both great civilizations that flourished in antiquity around the same time and were among the first nomadic groups to settle in the one place ‘“ the cradle of civilization. While many lay people have at least a perfunctory knowledge of the ancient Egyptians, the Sumerians, perhaps unfairly, are less known to the general population.

The Sumerians were a people who settled on the flood plains of the mighty Tigris and Euphrates Rivers around 4000 B.C in what is today part of Iraq. Ancient Egyptian society had taken shape on the nutrient rich banks of the Nile River.

While both the Sumerians and the Egyptians chose to settle in fertile river plains and developed sophisticated agriculture, religion and political systems, there are also many differences between the two groups and the key features of their ways of life.

Sumerian religion was based around the worship of four life giving deities ‘“ the god of heaven, the goddess of earth, the god of air and the god of water. In the Egyptian pantheon there were around 2000 recognized gods and goddesses. In Egypt the pharaoh was worshipped as a living god, but Sumerian society was not a theocracy.

Another difference between the Sumerians and the Egyptians is the way they approached death and prepared for the afterlife. The Egyptians were reasonably well protected from attack and thus lived lives that embraced the future and they made grand preparations for their passage into the afterlife. In contrast the Sumerians were vulnerable to attack and lived a much more volatile existence. Their funerary rites were uncomplicated for their passage into the afterlife.

The Sumerians were one of the first peoples to develop a system of writing. Their writing system was called cuneiform and was named after the wedge shaped writing implement used. It was etched onto clay tablets, which were then fired in kilns to make the writing last. The Egyptians developed hieroglyphics, which were a very different style of recording information and they also wrote on papyrus made from reeds. Papyrus was cheaper and easier to produce than clay tablets, which resulted in vast record keeping capabilities with the Egyptians. The differences in geography between the two civilizations led to the development of different writing technology.

When comparing the technological advances of the two great civilizations Mesopotamia’s is more impressive. This is probably due to the fact that the surrounding environment of the Sumerians was harsher and more difficult to predict and manage.

Sumerian and Egyptian governments were quite different. Egyptian government tended to be more authoritarian with absolute power residing with the pharaoh; however in Sumer the city-state politics allowed for more input from nobles acting as councils.

1.Both were great ancient civilizations
2.The Egyptians had more complex funerary ceremonies and afterlife mythology than the Sumerians
3.Both peoples developed complex, but different writing systems for the purpose of record keeping.
4.The Sumerians had more technological advancements than the Egyptians.
5. Egyptian government was more authoritarian than Sumerian government.

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  1. I read this and saw, among other things, a statement about Sumer’s technology being more impressive than that of Egypt (Khemet). Here’s the problem, no evidence whatsoever is given to back up that statement. I find it hard to accept this article without any proof of the ideas being shared. Also the ancient Egyptians (Khemw) had a hierarchy to their divinities. They had a belief in one deity (AkenAten-The Amarna Period). Every term I shared you can check for yourself. I suggest that’s what any intelligent reader of this should do.

  2. people these days have no life

  3. my college corse textbook that i’m reading right now says that sumerians were a theocracy.

  4. wet kings.

  5. Nerds who write this!!!

    • Egypt is the teacher of the world.Egypt tought the Europeans learners who came from all over Europe how to plant crops and build cities.Egyptian explorations were tought to all the world.Religion’s too.And since Tuhothose ||| he is the first one to invent the surise attacks and wars.He divided the army into middle (heart)and wings (sides).he made an Egyptian great empire and controlled the Mediterranean Sea with his war ships.The Egyptians built the FIRST huge rocky bulging in history which is the Pyramid of Saqarra.Later they defended all the world by destroying and beating the Maguls (came from mangolia) in the war of Ain Galoot.Without Egypt then Manguls would have rushed into north Africa then Spain then all Europe destroying the civilizations.Also without Egypt the rise of Europe would have been late for centuries.Egypiano defended their cointro from Hyksos, Perains ,Romans,Greeks,French
      ,English and Israel and destroyed them along the long history .They have done the best sacrifices in history.Read Egypt history and you shall learn from it. 🙂 😉

  6. Thanks alot for writing this

  7. Your writing is very subjective. So although there may be some relative information in this post it has to be with a grain of salt. You say the Summerians were more technologically advanced because their conditions were harder… That is very subjective.

    And seeing as though they both established themselves at the same time with very different writing styles and viewpoints leads me to believe that neither copied from the other

  8. Useful for doing homework

  9. The article is greatly mis-informed. Sumerians and Egyptians were 1 in the same. There is no evidence of a cuneiform writing .. also using clay/stone to write was and is still standing in Egypt/ Kmt. Also the portion of this article speaking of the religion is incorrect- as Egypt/ Kmt culture specifically identifies the 4 Ntru (nature dieties)- but they also had others to explain life. there are not just 4. Ancestral relam also is not mentioned.
    Egyptians did not worship a pharaoh. The pharaoh was the leader or the people to speak to the ancestral realm and to bring forth the best of the people into the culture. In the end.. what we know of the world today- is not the same that existed then. Egyptians and Sumerians were 1 in the same people living in different regions and having diff names to the people who came to know them.

  10. There were no such thing as gods in ancient Egypt until they were conquered by the Romans.

    • this is misinformed like by alot they had gods before the romans cuz the romans were just the ones who discovered the different gods that they had plus even if they would have known the roman gods not random new ones obviously

  11. When one compares the Ancient
    Kemet (‘Egypt’ca 4243 b.c.e) ‘alphabet’ viz-a- viz
    Ancient Suma ca4000 b.c.e
    Ancient Hebrews ca 800b.c.e
    Ancient Greece ca 690 b.c.e
    Ancient Rome c.a 129 b.c.e right up to the English alphabet :- once viewed with an unbiased critical analytical mind …. one can easily deduce which culture/ civilisation borrowed, copied, plagiarised, stole, or was influenced by Kemet (‘Egypt’)The same will hold true for Language, Architectures/ buildings/ monuments, literature,
    theogony,art, equinox festivities, funeral customs, the names and functionalities of Goddess/Gods etc

    Exempli Gratia

    Pythagoras ca495b.c.e – Ionian Greek
    ‘multi-genius’ espoused certain principles pertaining to a Right Angled
    Triangle ~ known as The Pythagorean Theorem ~ taught for hundreds of years myriads of schools/universities and other learning establishments

    Yet in Ancient Kemet (‘Egypt’) stands Pyramids dating back 3000 b.c.e colossal stone skyscrapers comprised
    of a four sided triangles set on a square base – perfectly aligned with the poles – and mathematical computations of it’s height and base/ area will reveal phi (1:618)
    Pi. (3:142)
    among other constants

    These structures and their architects were ancient to the world millenniums before Greece was born

    Yet the Pythagorean Theorem prevails and is still taught to this day

    Constant repetition will not make that historical anomaly true … but it serves political/ cultural agendas to gaslight and distort reality!

    IF A LIE IS TOLD LONG ENOUGH OVER HUNDREDS OF YEARS… It will be accepted as standard TRUTH !

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