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War and Change

War is a devastating experience for any civilization, but it is also often an engine for change, a spur to the development of new technology, the source of stories and legends, an economic drain and an economic spur often at the same time, and generally a force that can be creative a well as destructive. War was very much a part of the life of ancient mesopotamia, a region whose geography encouraged invasion so that the leadership of the Mesopotamian region had to think constantly about defense and its ramifications. The social life, economy, religion, literature, and politics of Mesopotamia were shaped by the warfare and the demands it made on the people for centuries.

This experience is reflective of that of many civilizations throughout the ancient world. Civilization developed following a pattern based on the ability of the human population to learn to use different tools at different stages, different materials from which those tools were made, and different modes of food production. With the development of more sedentary habitats, urban centers eventually developed and produced civilizations with certain similar characteristics, though these developments may have taken place at different rates in different areas. One of the primary determinants of how a civilization develops is its environment, the geography and climate of the area in which people decided to settle. Duiker and Spielvogel note that the first civilizations that emerged in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China shared certain characteristics, including geographic characteristics. Each of these civilizations developed in a river valley which made possible sufficient agricultural production to maintain a large population. Agricultural practices varied greatly from place to place, but in each case a part of the population lived in cities which became the focal points for political, economic, social, cultural, and religious development. Each civilization als...

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War and Change. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:26, November 29, 2021, from