Patriarchal Systems in Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica

October 25, 2010
By , Daleville, AL
Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica were complex civilizations that developed their own systems of writing, weaponry, religious beliefs and structures, and patriarchal systems. They were both similar and different in many different ways, and they both controlled their societies differently. However, both societies consisted of a patriarchal system, and many other elements.

One thing that Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica had in common was that they both developed their own religious beliefs and structures, and their own cultures. The Egyptians, as well as the Mesoamericans, strongly believed that there was a god, and that god needed to be worshipped and praised, in order to gain good harvests and an abundant food supply. Both societies built structures that involved their religion; Egyptians built pyramids to bury their pharaohs in after they died because they believed their pharaohs to be the sons of their gods, and Mesoamericans, such as Olmec and Maya, built temples that served as sacrificial and ritual centers. In these centers, the Mesoamericans sacrificed humans because they believed that the gods wanted blood in return for the deeds they performed for the Mesoamericans. However, the Egyptians didn’t perform any sacrifices for their gods, but they performed different religious ritual. When their pharaohs or an important person in their society died, they preserved the bodies through the process of mummification. Here, the Egyptians took out the main organs and placed them in religious jars, then preserved the bodies with a special cloth wrap to help the deceased transfer into the afterworld. The Mesoamericans would play ball games and the winners would be sacrificed to their gods; this was considered an honor.

Another thing Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica had in common was the fact that they both had a political system. Ancient Egyptians were ruled by pharaohs; pharaohs were believed to be children of the gods that Egyptians believed in. The pharaohs were like kings, and what they said became law, and all Egyptians had to obey what the pharaoh said. The Mesoamericans had kings that were similar to the pharaohs. As far as a patriarchal system goes, Egyptians didn’t have one. The women were treated fairly similar to the way the men were treated. The women also played very similar roles in the Egyptian society as men did. However, the Mesoamericans did in fact have a patriarchal system. The men were the ones who hunted and became kings. The women were to do as the man commanded, and oblige to the men’s wishes. The women cooked, cleaned, and trained their daughters to be just like them when they grew up. They mainly served two purposes, and they were to listen to the men and do as they commanded, and bear children to their husbands.

Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica both, also had flourishing economies. They both developed excellent trading systems and routes, and made the use of weapons to their advantage. Mesoamericans and Egyptians both invented weapons to help them excel in their hunting and fighting. Though the weapons may not have been made of the same material, they all worked quite efficiently and fulfilled their purpose. The Egyptians used bronze metallurgy to create cheap but effective weapons that aided them in combat and hunting. The Mesoamericans used obsidian to create effective weapons and tools that aided them in combat as well, but also provided them with an instrument to use during sacrificing rituals. The Mesoamericans also traded jade, obsidian, and orange pottery with their neighbors, and professional merchants traded extensively throughout Mesoamerica. The Maya, a group of Mesoamericans, also invented the number 0 and a calendar consisting of two different types of years, one of which is only seventeen seconds off from the calendar scientists have invented today, The first year is the solar year, which is three hundred sixty – five days a year, and the second is the ritual year, which is two hundred seventy days a year.

Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica were both complex civilizations that developed their own systems of writing, weaponry, religious beliefs and structures, and patriarchal systems. They were both similar and different in many different ways, and they both controlled their societies differently, but well enough to produce famous well – known societies that people learn about today.





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