Since the beginning of time, man has had to rely on his environment for survival. Whether he was located in the cold regions, tropics or near the sea, in one or the other he has managed to make a living from the environment. Therefore, they have left evidence on their landscapes which enable’s us to get an insight on what ancient life was like. Ancient civilisations were very much influenced by the environment; it affected their type of food, means of transport and economic activities (Boing, 202).
The type of landscape, whether flat or hilly, can shed some light on a community’s way of life. For example, a hilly and mountainous region was unsuitable for agriculture. This meant that the residents of the area had to find other economic activities.
The Greeks were particularly known for their excellent sailing techniques; and there is a very good reason for that. The Greeks originated from the modern Greece country which has an enormous coastline. Also, the country is full of Rocky Mountains making it unsuitable for farming. Therefore, the Greeks turned to the sea to look for food.
Their menu consisted of food from the sea and many people made a living from fishing and the associated economic activities such as boat crafting, lumbering and fishing net making. In the long run, they became excellent sailors which proved to be of huge help during the expansion of their kingdom. Also, the boats were used to transport farm produce food from regions which farming was possible. They had domesticated horses which they used as a means of transport and they were also vital in conquering other lands (Murry, 391).
On the other hand, the Egyptian Empire was located on a fairly flat land and the river Nile run through it. Other than the Nile providing water for irrigation, it also brought fertile soil from the highlands located in Eastern Africa. Therefore, their menu was composed of vegetables, cereals and fruits. Sea food must have also been in their menu too since the Mediterranean Sea is located on the north. Other than the Egyptians making a living from farming and fishing, some of them were great architects and builders.
Some parts of the country had quarries where they mined construction bricks to build their famous temples and tombs. Most of the temples and towns were located near the river, this shows that the river was also used in transportation especially the construction materials. The Egyptians used colossal building bricks and transporting them through land would have been a daunting task (Birckbeck, 307).
Mesopotamia is among the earliest civilisation known to us currently. This civilisation was located between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris in Middle East. Both rivers had deposit of clay on their banks and made it one of the most abundant materials in the region. The residents used the clay to make utensils, buildings, statues and tablets which were probably used as a writing surface. The river also was used in irrigation during the dry season to cater for the expanding population.
They grew vegetables, fruits and cereals which formed a large part of their menu. Also, the Mesopotamians were among the first people known to domesticate animals. Animals such as oxen were used in ploughing and in transportation of farm produce. Donkeys were also used to carry people from one location to another and also in fetching of water. They also reared sheep and goats which were a source of both food and clothing (Birckbeck, 451).
From this paper, it is apparent that the ecology of a civilisation did play a big part on the lifestyle of the residents. Somehow, man has always found a way of using his environment to his favour; from the ancient times up to today.
Birckbeck, Rosell. Contemporary Issues In The Roman Empire. Chicago: Philopoemen, 2003. Print.
Boing, Francis. Religion And Civilization In The Ancient Times . New York: Penell, 2000. Print.
Murry, Beth. Economic Activities Of The Ancient Man. Seattle: Oxford, 2006. Print.