Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 2: Early Societies in Southwest Asia and the Indo-European Migrations

Interactive Map Quiz


Map A. Mesopotamian Empires

The region of Mesopotamia is considered the site where Western Civilization began. Nestled between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, the region (now modern-day Iraq) possessed large amounts of arable land, which allowed the people of the area to develop settled agricultural societies. This map highlights the different empires that arose in Mesopotamia and the Nile River Valley over the course of a thousand years, as well as the areas of arable land across the region.

Define the term "arable land" and explain why such land was so important to the survival and success of different peoples and societies in the Egyptian and Mesopotamian areas.


Provide a short, geographic explanation for the location and shapes of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian empires, as represented on the maps.


How did the geographies of Egypt and Mesopotamia differ?


Most of the various kingdoms and societies of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia emerged in river valley areas. How would you explain this? What conditions were common to both areas? Consider geographic, technological, economic, and political factors in your answer.

Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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