Ancient Egypt Nile River Facts And Its Importance In That Period | Kidadl


Ancient Egypt Nile River Facts And Its Importance In That Period

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The River Nile is said to be the oldest river in the world!

The river is located in Egypt. The River Nile flows north into the Mediterranean sea.

The Nile is a north-flowing river located in northeastern Africa in Egypt. It is one of the most famous rivers of the ancient world. It flows into the Mediterranean sea. It is said to be the longest river in the world, but many people believe that the Amazon is longer in length. The river has two major tributaries, namely the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile begins at Lake Victoria in Tanzania and ends in south Sudan; meanwhile, the Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The White Nile, located in Northern Egypt, is longer than the Blue Nile.

If you are enjoying our article on ancient Egypt Nile river facts and their importance in that period, then make sure to check out ancient china trade and ancient fish fun fact articles here on Kidadl.

Why was the River Nile so important to ancient Egypt?

The Nile River flows through central Africa and into the Mediterranean sea, passing through the Egyptian deserts. To the ancient Egyptians, the river provided fertile soil and water for irrigation through irrigation canals in the middle of a desert.

In the rainy season, the river would flood the nearby areas, causing a lot of destruction. This was seen as a bad omen in the beginning, but soon the ancient Egyptians realized that, after the flooding, the Nile floods would leave behind black soil important for growing crops and even renewed farmlands. In Egypt, houses, walls, and other buildings were often made out of sun-dried bricks. The mud from near the river was used to make these bricks. Today the area has been secured from floods by the Aswan dam.

The ancient Egyptians created an entire calendar around the river itself. The rainy season or the flood season, known as Akhet, was considered to be the first season. Akhet was followed by Peret, the growing season, and Shemu, the harvesting season.

Flora And Fauna Of The Riverbanks

In ancient Egypt, the three most important plants were flax, wheat, and papyrus.

Wheat was the staple food of ancient Egyptians, and the second-longest river, the Nile, provided them with the rich soil to grow wheat. They made bread out of wheat and also traded a lot of wheat with the Middle East. The papyrus plant was also essential as it was used to make paper, baskets, ropes, and more. Flax would be used for making linen cloth for the clothing the Egyptians wore in ancient times.

Nowadays, the variety of flora and fauna along the Nile riverbanks has increased massively. The area of origin of the Nile River is now home to tropical plants, such as bananas and bamboo! Water hyacinth, a plant that is originally from South America, also grows on the river now.

As for the fauna, hippopotamus, softshell turtles, tigerfish, lungfish, monitor lizard, the Nile crocodile, and the Nile perch are the most common animals found in and around the banks of the river. Lungfish are found as far up the stream as Lake Victoria! The hippopotamus is only found in South Sudan and farther down nowadays. Nile crocodiles are said to be around 20 ft (6m) in length, and the Nile perch is 6.6 ft (2m) in length!

Traditional Nile sailboats near the banks of Aswan.

Trade And Transportation On The Nile River

All the major cities of Egypt were established near and around the banks of the Nile.

Up until the 19th century, it was virtually unknown to trade and travel by land. So the main means of transport for the Egyptians was the river itself. Being one of the longest rivers in the world, the Nile served as an excellent trading route.

The Nile basin is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean and on the east by the Red Sea Hills. The Ethiopian Plateau on the south by the East African Highlands, which include Lake Victoria, is a Nile source. On the west is the less well-defined watershed between the Nile, Chad, and Congo basins, extending northwest to include the Marrah Mountains of Sudan, the Al- Jilf al-Kabīr Plateau of Egypt, and the Libyan Desert (part of the Sahara). These served as important trade harbors for the Egyptians.

Egyptians were excellent traders. They traded everything from papyrus, linen, cedarwood, and ebony to gold, copper, iron, ivory, and even lapis lazuli. Egyptians would meet traders from across the mouth of the Nile to trade goods with them. Ancient Egyptian trade connected the civilization with ancient India, the fertile crescent, Arabia, and even Sub-Saharan Africa. People of Egypt would use different types of boats for shipping goods to different areas through the Nile waters.

They would later use donkeys, horses, and carriages to carry these goods on land.

Benefits Of The Nile River

The second-longest river was definitely an important and irreplaceable part of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

The most important benefit of the river was the water. The Nile valley provided a permanent source of water for the ancient Egyptians. They used the water from the river for various purposes. The Nile Delta River flooded and provided them with fertile land, and the water was used for irrigation by farmers and for bathing by most people. The river also provided the people with fish and food to catch and eat. They would also catch poultry, such as ducks or cranes, that lived around the river. People also used the river to wash their clothes and cattle. Unlike the rest of northeast Africa, the area near the Nile Delta has an arid landscape.

Apart from that, the river also deposited black soil that was used for farming by ancient Egyptian farmers. The river was used for transport, shipping, and trade by the civilization with other settlements.

Mythology Related To The Nile River

The Egyptians considered the Nile to be the gift of the Gods themselves in the African countries.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Egypt was the gift of the Nile. He preached that if the river never existed, Egypt would have been consumed in the red sands. There are a number of myths that are associated with the ancient river. It is believed that the flood season begins when the brightest star of all, called 'Sirius', appears in the sky, and if the river overflows, it brings prosperity and fertility to all.

Another myth says that the Egyptian deity of water, named Khnum, brings prosperity and creates humans from the mud of the river! Another deity, known as Hapi, is said to control the floods of the river. Hapi is said to be both genders and brings their fertility to the soil. It is also a common belief that the severed parts of the god named Osiris were in the river, and the death and decline caused by the floods were related to the resurrection of Osiris. The Egyptian Nile crocodile god is also worshipped by many people.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our article about ancient Egypt Nile River facts, then why not take a look at our articles about ancient Egypt games for kids or ancient Egypt maps for kids?

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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