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Egyptian Environment

Egyptian History

Egypt is one of the most fertile areas of Africa, and one of the most fertile of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Because it is so fertile, people came to live in Egypt earlier than in most places, probably around 40,000 years ago. At first there were not very many people, but gradually Egypt became more crowded, so there was more need for a unified government. Around 3000 BC (5000 years ago), Egypt was first unified under one ruler, who was called the Pharaoh.
From that time until around 525 BC, when Egypt was conquered by the Persians, Egypt's history is divided into six different time periods. These are called the Old Kingdom, the First Intermediate Period, the Middle Kingdom, the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom, and the Third Intermediate Period.


Old Kingdom (2686-2160 BC)
First Intermediate Period (2160-2040 BC)
Middle Kingdom (2040-1633 BC)
Second Intermediate Period (1786-1558 BC)
New Kingdom (1558-1085 BC)


Third Intermediate Period (1085-525 BC)
Persian rule (525-332 BC)
Greek rule (332-30 BC) (also called the Hellenistic)
Roman rule (30 BC-700 AD)
Islamic rule (700 AD to 1500)


Egyptian Environment

Egypt has a very special environment, which has played a very big part in Egyptian history. Basically Egypt is really part of the Sahara Desert, which runs all across the top of Africa. But the Sahara is a really dry desert, and for the most part people do not live in the desert (though actually the Sahara was not as dry in antiquity as it is now). But even in antiquity it hardly ever rained in Egypt.
The reason people did live in Egypt, though, was that the Nile River runs through the middle of Egypt. The Nile is a big river.It starts in the rain forest south of Ethiopia, south of Egypt and it flows north into the Mediterranean Sea.
Water from the Nile makes it possible to grow crops in Egypt, especially grain (wheat and barley) and beans.
The way this worked in antiquity was t hat every year it would rain so much in the highlands of Ethiopia that the Nile river would flood. Most of Egypt flooded every year in the late summer and fall (earlier in the south and later in the north). The flood waters were full of good black dirt (silt), carried down the river from central Africa by the flood. The flood waters would eventually go back into the river (after a few weeks), leaving the silt on the fields. This was a great natural fertilizer.
The rest of the year, while the crops were growing, people got water from the Nile River to their fields in canals and irrigation ditches that they dug with picks and shovels. As soon as you are too far from the Nile to get the water to the fields, it turns back into desert again.


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 948


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