Q:

How did geography affect early civilizations?

A:

Quick 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.

Know More
How did geography affect early civilizations?
Credit: Angelo Cavalli Getty Images

Full Answer

Early civilizations lacked the expertise needed to construct the elaborate works necessary to modify the land for their own use, such as massive irrigation systems or graded tunnels and roads to pass through natural barriers. The earliest cities were established in geographically beneficial areas, providing their citizens with ready access to the natural resources they needed. Egypt, for instance, enjoyed a massive agricultural benefit from the regular flooding of the Nile River, as well as protection from other civilizations created by the deserts and harsh terrain that surrounded the kingdom. Rivers and sea currents provided established trade routes between these civilizations and encouraged trade, while mountains acted as cultural barriers and allowed the people on either side autonomy from one another. Later civilizations learned to take advantage of geography to suit their needs, allowing for colonization of areas previously unsuitable for human habitation.

Learn more about Anthropology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are examples of anthropology research topics?

    A:

    Anthropology research topics can include the role women provide to a certain society, the views of the ancestors of a given ethnic group or the different types of economic systems in the world today. The area of research should correlate with the researcher's interests.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How many races are there in the world?

    A:

    Most anthropologists recognize that there are four major race classifications in the world, which include caucasian, mongoloid or asian, negroid or black and australoid. The race classification was created by Carleston S. Coon in 1962. The four major races can then be further subdivided into 30 subgroups.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the relationship between anthropology and sociology?

    A:

    The relationship between anthropology and sociology is dependent upon the human cultures that are studied in both disciplines. Sociology looks at human beings during a specific time period, while anthropology looks at the overall growth and change of humans from ancestral times to present-day times.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are polystrate fossils?

    A:

    Polystrate fossils are single organism fossils that are encased in multiple layers of rock, such as a tree trunk. "Poly" means more than one, and "strata" means rock. These fossil types are caused by rapidly-moving, sediment-laden fluids that create an abundance of layers, such as volcanic eruptions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore