Early Social Systems of Egypt, Aksum, and the Inland Niger Delta

Compare and contrast early social systems of Egypt, Aksum, and the inland Niger Delta. Offer ideas on the possible transmission/transference of culture among these civilizations.

The early civilizations in Aksum, Egypt, and Inland Niger Delta were rather comparable as regard their social systems. In the three civilizations, the systems were hierarchical. In early Egypt, the system was pyramid like, with gods occupying the apex position. The gods were considered to control the universe. Just below the gods were priests and nobles, who ran the government. Below the government functionaries were soldiers, scribes, traders, artisans, the farming population, servants, and then slaves in a descending order. In the Aksum civilization, the society was hierarchically organized (Shillington, 1989). The king occupied the topmost position in the civilization. Just below the king were the nobles who, together with the king, ran the government. The rest of the people formed occupied the lowest rank in the society (Phillipson, 1998).

In the early Inland Niger Delta civilization, like in the Aksum civilization, the society was hierarchically organized (Janos, 2009). Rulers occupied the topmost position in the civilization. Just below the rulers were the nobles who, together with the king, ran the government. The rest of the people formed occupied the lowest rank in the society (Phillips, 1995). Notably, the three civilizations were comparable in that they allowed for social mobility. Commonly, as individuals moved up the civilizations’ economic ranking, they improved their social standing. In the three civilizations, social bureaucracy was rather lucrative. Notably, unlike in the Inland Niger Delta and Aksum civilizations, in the early Egyptian civilization gods were ranked the highest in social organization.

The three civilizations exchanged or transmitted their cultures among themselves mainly via trade. Trade wove the civilizations rather closely to each other. The early Egyptians considered the neighboring neighbors, or civilizations, as dependable sources of slaves, political strength, and luxury commercial items. Aksumites exported ivory, emeralds, gold, tortoise shell, grains, cattle, camels, sheep, salt, gold, and iron to Egypt. Egyptians exported items like spices, woolen clothes and curtains, and silk to Aksum. Egyptians traded with merchants from Inland Niger Delta. AS well, Aksumites exported obsidian to Niger. Niger farmers used the obsidian especially in shaping farming blades (Ross, 2011; Shillington, 1989).

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