Differences Between Ancient Egypt & Ancient China

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Egypt and China were both great empires in the ancient world. Though each has left its impact on history, they were rather different regarding their beliefs, practices and economies.

1 Religion

The religion of ancient Egypt was polytheistic and centered around the divinity of the ruler and the eternity of the soul. The Chinese were polytheistic with the addition of ancestor worship. Over time, these beliefs were sometimes blended with Taoism, Buddhism or Confucianism.

2 Funeral Customs

In Egypt, people were buried with thought to preservation, as they believed that the dead would be able to use their bodies in the afterlife. Chinese burial style depended on the province as well as the main religion of the person. People would be buried in the ground, in water, put in a hanging coffin or cremated.

3 Martial Arts

Chinese martial arts include kung fu and tai chi. The Egyptians practiced tahtib, a form of stick fighting. Sticks were four feet long and the fights were often more of a dance and display than an actual fight.

4 Medicine

The ancient Egyptians believed that most non-physical ailments were caused by spells and curses. Overall treatments included amulets, potions and surgery depending on what was wrong. Chinese medicine was based on the idea of the balance of the energies yin and yang. Illness was the result of an imbalance and was treated with herbs, acupuncture and exercises.

5 Money

Egyptians did not have proper currency until 1000 B.C. Instead, goods and services were exchanged for other goods and services deemed of comparable value. In contrast, the ancient Chinese used cowrie shells and metal beads. Coins and even paper money were used as well.

Linnea Tanner began her freelance writing career in 2009 after earning a Bachelor's of Science in nutrition and dietetics from the University of North Flordia. Her areas of expertise scientific and creative writing.