What similarities exist between the ancient civilizations of Harappa and Mesopotamia?  

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There are indeed a number of similarities between the ancient Mesopotamian and Harappan civilizations. Much more is known about the Mesopotamian civilizations than Harappa as the former left decipherable textual histories. All we know about the Harappan people must therefore come solely from archaeological interpretations.

Both civilizations relied heavily on rivers. They used rivers for transportation as well as irrigation. Having a relatively reliable source of water meant that they were able to support large-scale agriculture that allowed them to feed a large population. In order to best make use of the available water, both civilizations developed irrigation and water storage techniques and technology.

Agriculture requires complex divisions of labor. Both the Mesopotamians and the Harappans had a large farmer class which was responsible for growing the food to feed centralized urban populations. City dwellers, free from the burden of growing food, were employed as merchants and artisans. This gave rise to trade, manufacturing, and commerce. Indeed, the Mesopotamians and the Harappans even engaged in trade with each other.

There is some evidence to suggest that early in these civilizations' history, women were relatively empowered for the ancient world. In Mesopotamia, written records indicate that women could make their own business and trade contracts and own property. The large number of shrines to female deities in the Indus River Valley suggests that women there had a certain degree of independence as well.

Both civilizations were ruled by a king who also likely had a religious function. The king made laws, conducted treaties, headed the bureaucracy, led the military, and settled disputes.

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The Mesopotamian civilization and the Indus Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, are two of the oldest civilizations in recorded history and are frequently compared and contrasted.

Most importantly, both were river civilizations and for both, the river was a cornerstone of several aspects of life. In the case of Mesopotamia, this was the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, while the Indus river flowed through the valley of the Harappan civilization. Both civilizations were some of the earliest agricultural societies, and used the rivers for complex irrigation systems.

While this was a wonderful thing for a permanent society in a world where nomadic life had been the norm, it also unfortunately meant that both societies were completely at the mercy of nature. If the rivers were to flood, which they frequently did, it often meant heavy collateral damage.

However, despite this danger, both societies have also been shown to have possessed an unprecedented sophistication for the time. Both civilizations produced art and technology with seemingly standardized merit, as well as a form of written language that facilitated government and economy. With all this in mind, these were two of the first civilizations to make the case for "settling down" into an agricultural lifestyle as opposed to the previously nomadic ways of ancient man.

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Both civilizations flourished in similar periods and shared many geographical, cultural, and political elements in common.

The ancient Mesopotamian civilizations were located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, while Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were both located in the valley of the Indus river. Thus both civilizations were highly dependent on rivers for irrigation.

Both civilizations were agricultural (as opposed to hunter-gatherer) and required large groups of people to coordinate complex schemes of irrigation in order to produce sufficient food.

Both of these civilizations were highly urbanized, with sophisticated transport and economic networks enabling them to raise food in the surrounding areas in order to support wealthy cities with advanced crafts, artistic production, sophisticated religions, technology, and government bureaucracies. 

Both of the civilizations had some form of writing. Although Mesopotamian writing has been deciphered, the Indus script, which evolved in the same period and was in widespread use, has not been deciphered, meaning that we know much less about the Indus civilizations than we do about Mesopotamia. 

Both had polytheistic religions, although less is known of the Indus one due to the lack of deciphered written texts. 

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There are a number of similarities between the ancient river civilizations of Mesopotamia and Harappa.  Both civilizations relied on a  fertile river valley to support agriculture.  The importance of managing the river through irrigation and canal systems was of paramount concern for both river civilizations.  They harvested enough crops to create a surplus of goods to trade with one another. Both civilizations were at the mercy of unpredictable rivers that routinely flooded, causing tremendous property damage.  The two civilizations were politically and economically developed enough to support large urban areas that were technologically advanced for the time.  The religion of all of the ancient civilizations was polytheistic with special gods worshiped to control the rivers. Both civilizations developed writing systems to manage tax collection and commerce.  

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