Rivers were crucial to the survival of early civilizations because they were responsible for providing a source of water, irrigation for good farmland and a way for people to trade with other people through water transportation. Many of the earliest civilizations thrived due to the availability of rivers such as Mesopotamian cultures with the Euphrates River and Tigris River, Egyptians with the Nile River, Indians with the Indus River and Chinese with the Huang River and Yangtze River.
Rivers and river valleys typically flow to a large water source such as a lake, sea or the ocean. The end of the river is known as the "mouth." In some rivers, such as the Nile River in Egypt, the mouths have silt deposits. These silt deposits build up to create a delta area and also create fertile farmland.
One of the most well-known examples of using a river to further a civilization is the Egyptians' use of the Nile River. Without the Nile, none of the Egyptian achievements would have happened. The Egyptians first started living along the Nile, and were able to eat the fruit from the fruit trees along the river and the fish that swam in the river. The people also noticed that the Nile flooded for 6 months every year, and when it receded for the other 6 months, there was a fertile layer of silt that could be farmed for additional food. The Nile is responsible for the health of the Egyptians and their ability to survive. Today, rivers are used for the same qualities as well as to create hydroelectric power sources with technology.Learn More
There are many major river systems that did not host the world's first civilizations. These include, ordered by length, the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Ob, the Yenisei-Angara, the Congo, the Amur, the Parana, the Lena, the Mackenzie, the Volga, the Zambezi, the Orninoco and the Yukon.Full Answer >
The Aztec and Mayan civilizations were able to accomplish several feats including the establishment of city-states with great pyramid temples and public plazas with huge stone columns; they also created complex writing and mathematical systems, developed astrological advances, built tools and were able to measure time effectively. They also created many statues, artifacts, ball-playing courts and pottery pieces.Full Answer >
In general, early man wore clothing made from animal hides or crude prehistoric textiles. The type of clothing is dependent upon the era in which early man lived.Full Answer >
According to the Canadian Museum of History, one of the primary ways geography affected early civilizations was in determining the location of settlements. Since early humans needed access to water and fertile ground for agriculture, cities tended to spring up along rivers and flood plains. In addition, geographic features such as mountains frequently served as barriers and provided natural borders between civilizations.Full Answer >