StateLeader & Symbolic RoleMethod of UnificationRuler’s Means of Control
EgyptPharoh (herdsman) sometimes functions as god.Organizing labor to manage floods; distribution of food; use of Nile River as highway to unify, control.Pharaoh’s commands, policies function as law, regarded as devine.
Mesopotamia city-statesKing/Royals, mediate, lead, worship, receive oracles.Organizing labor; distributing food; competition with other city-states.Earliest law codes; rituals performed by oracles guide decision making.
ChinaEmperor/engineer, builder, hunter, takes on shaman’s role in receiving prophecies.Organizing dike building, irrigation; use of Yellow River (Huang Ho) as highway to unify and control.Ritual divination using oracle bones – foretelling future interpreting will of spirits.
HarappaUncertain if singular ruler of priests dominated ruling class.Harnessing river, irrigation; distributing food; engineering and construction of complex urban systems.Unknown; widespread standardization of measurements and trade point to coordination/leadership
Pearl S. Wang’s The Good Earth Summary & Analysis
Cite this article as: Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team, "Political and State Power in Great River Valley Societies," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

Leave a Reply