Impact of geography on Ancient Egypt
The geography of Northeast Africa and the Nile Valley had a profound influence on the ancient Egyptian civilization and culture as is evidenced by their hieroglyphs, art and monoliths of the period. Ancient Egyptian civilization was initially settled along the banks of the Nile River with two major urban settlements, one along the upper Nile and the other along the banks of the lower Nile (civilization.ca). These areas became known as the “double lands” or “two lands” of Upper and Lower Egypt (civilization.ca). Egyptian civilization was established in a very long and narrow strip of fertile land located along the banks of the Nile River. The Nile River flows south to north for 4000 miles in the middle of two very inhospitable deserts, the sandy Libyan Desert to the west and the mountainous Arabian Desert to the east. The annual cycle of the Nile flooding its banks brought new layers of nutrient rich silt down from the Ethiopian highlands and deposited them along the shores of the Nile River. The flooding cycle of the Nile facilitated the abundant agriculture success the ancient Egyptian people enjoyed and was instrumental in creating such a rich, vibrant and optimistic civilization (Feiro21).
Historians speculate that a rapid climate change took place during the period 5000 BCE, causing Northeast Africa’s climate to become hotter and more arid which reduced the number and size of oasis that the nomadic tribes depended on for food and water (civilization.ca). The nomadic tribes began to settle along the banks of the Nile River transforming into an agrarian society growing food and raising livestock. The Nile flows north more than 4000 miles from it’s tributaries in Ethiopia’s mountains and highlands. The two tributary rivers eventually join with the Atbara River to become the infamous Nile River of the ancient Egyptian people (mnsu.edu). The Niles importance in Egyptian culture is depicted in many of their...
Cited: Fiero, Gloria K, The Humanistic Tradition; prehistory to the early modern world, fifth edition, vol 1, New York, McGraw Hill 2006, Print.
“The Ancient Egyptian Culture Exhibit”, Emusuem @ Minnesota State University, Mankato. Sarah Burns, 2003, Web 11 Jul, 2010.
“Mysteries of Egypt”, Canadian Museum of Civilization, n.p. 30 April 2010, Web, 11 Jul. 2010.
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