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The Rise of River Civilizations

            In ancient times, most civilizations tended to naturally form near river valleys. This was due to the fact that rivers provided the land and resources that people needed in order to be prosperous. The rivers gave the people fertile land to farm with and an easily accessible water source for drinking and bathing. Other geographic features of the area such as mountains and valleys also contributed to the functionality and prosperity of river civilizations. The different geography of an area and greatly affect the way its culture develops and how the civilization forms its characteristics. Some of the most powerful civilizations in history arose from river valleys. Rivers, mountains, and other geographic features contributed sufficiently to the growth and development of two prevailing civilizations: the Indus River Valley Civilization and Ancient China.
             Many geographic features of the Indus River Valley such as the Hindu Kush and Himalaya Mountains, the Indus River, and the seasonal monsoons contributed to the development of the civilization. The Indus Civilization was located on what is known today as India. India is a subcontinent, or a large mass of land that juts out from a larger piece of land. Located to the north of the subcontinent, where India connects to Asia, there are two major mountain ranges: the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas. These two mountains ranges provided the Indus Civilization with extremely secure protection from other civilizations if they were to try and attack. Thus, it allowed the Indus people to develop independently and not have to worry about attacks from the north. This allowed them to focus on arts and architecture, rather than weapons and warfare. The Indus River also greatly contributed to the prosperity of the civilization. It provided fertile soil for farming because of its yearly flooding. However, because the flooding was unpredictable, it was often common for crops to become destroyed.

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