Compare the civilizations of Mesopotamia and the Indus River Valley. 

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The civilizations that emerged in the Indus River Valley and in Mesopotamia were some of the earliest major societies to develop. They share a number of significant similarities. Let's look at some of the major traits they shared and differed in.

The civilizations in both these places built some of the earliest known cities and towns. They tended to place an important palace or temple atop an acropolis, either in the center of the city or near its edge. Because of the frequent threat of invasions, the Sumerians and Assyrians of Mesopotamia and the civilizations of the Indus River Valley built fortified walls around their towns. Urban centers were usually larger in Mesopotamia, where they supported a larger population of city dwellers. In the Indus River Valley, cities served more as economic and political centers, and the majority of the population lived in rural villages.

Trade was an important part of the economy for civilizations in both locations. They even traded with each other. The rivers were utilized as trade routes, and bronze goods and cash crops such as cotton and linen were frequently bought and sold in their market towns.

They both had creative uses of technology that served their economy. Both were some of the earliest users of the wheel, both for transportation purposes and for making pottery. Extensive irrigation systems were developed and used in both regions as well.

Both civilizations kept extensive written records. Unfortunately, the Indus River Valley script has not been deciphered. We do know that both used clay tablets to record their writings. In Mesopotamia, these tablets recorded commercial transactions and legal decisions. It is possible that they served the same function in the Indus River Valley.

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The most obvious similarity between Mesopotamia (Sumerian) and the Indus Valley Civilization was the importance of the rivers to their development. Both civilizations relied on rivers to supply water and fertile soil. Because of the rivers, the civilizations were able to create surplus crops to trade. Farming along the river also led to the development of urban centers which were important in both civilizations.

The Indus and Sumerian city-states both relied on trade. There is even archeological evidence that they traded with one another. Pottery was an important form of art and item for trade in both areas. Both early civilizations developed social class systems and organized into city-states. Like all of the early civilizations of the world, a polytheistic religious system emerged in Mesopotamia and the Indus River civilizations.

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