Ancient Egypt- the Nile River

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Ancient Egypt

Starting about 8,000BC, all of Northern Africa became a drier, more desert-like place. Back then, man lived in nomadic groups of hunters and gatherer. The climate forced man to migrate to more hospitable lands, some migrated to Nile River Valley which is a vast land surrounding the Nile River. There in this land abundant with life, there were plenty of food and water for these people. During the Neolithic Revolution (10,000BC to 3,500BC) man discovered the art of agriculture, this skill arrived in Egypt approximately 7,000BC. Humans were finally able to use the rich silt brought by the yearly flooding of the Nile River which annually flooded since 60,000 years ago.

The Nile River is the world's longest river , it is approximately 4,160 miles long and flows from the highlands in Central Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. It is the main reason why the Ancient Egyptians were such a successful people, the moisture from the river was the only thing keeping Egypt from change to a desert. Even back then, everybody knew that without the river they had no chance of survival. First of all the main food the Egyptians ate were bread made from the grain grown with the precious silt and water from the Nile River. Barges and boats made with papyrus reeds or wooden planks(used after 3,000BC) were filled with different thing such as grains were floated downstream and carried by the current, or if they needed to be floated upstream, you would simply just raise the sails up and the ship would sail upstream, the Egyptians invented sails at approximately 3,200BC. Although the Nile is such an abundant source of life, it fertilize just a narrow strip of land, eventually the Egyptians built large irrigation systems which would carry water into the desert.

Ancient cultures were often plagued with warfare and attacks from other cultures, Egypt's geography protected it from most of its neighbors. The Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Nubian Desert, and the Libyan Desert surrounded Egypt, it was very hard for an outside to even enter Egypt. In the Nile River there are six cataracts, waterfalls or rapids, these prevented people from a region called Kush which would be modern day Ethiopia from using the river to travel to Egypt and attack it. Still there were invaders who would attack Egypt, from the Sinai Peninsula invaders attacked Egypt, but Egypt also used this land as a path to conquer other people.

The small villages that lined the river eventually became two kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The name of the king that eventually united the two kingdoms is Menes, he originally ruled just Upper Egypt, but by conquering Lower Egypt, he not only increase his own power, he created one of the greatest civilizations ever. His successors, the king after him, wore a double crown to symbolize that they ruled both kingdoms.

Sometime between 1,554BC and 1,304BC, people began calling their kings "pharaohs" which means "great house". Egyptians believed that the pharaohs were descendants of the sun god, Amon-Ra. A "dynasty" is a government where the right to rule passes father to son. Occasionally these dynasties were overthrown or died out and a new dynasty is formed. The first dynasty was said to have been establish by King Menes who united Upper Egypt with Lower Egypt. There are about 30 dynasties that ruled Egypt, historians and archeologists have divided the history of Egypt into three parts based on these dynasties. The Old Kingdom(2,700BC to 2,200BC), the Middle Kingdom(2,050BC to 1,800BC), and the New Kingdom or Empire Age(1,570BC to 1,090BC).

With every ancient society we have seen a unique religion, the Egyptians are no exception. Egyptian mythology or religion did not influence their culture as religion did to other cultures much, a unified sense of faith never existed among them. What I mean by this is that since each city worshipped a different god or goddess, there wasn't really a...
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