Why is Egypt called the gift of the Nile? Facts and History

Ancient Egypt is located in Northeast Africa. The greatest influence on life in Egypt was the Nile River. Because the land would be a desert without Nile’s waters, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus called Egypt ‘the gift of the Nile.’

The Nile served as a source of food for the people of ancient Egypt. The river teemed with different types of fish. A wide variety of wild birds were hunted in the marshes along the Nile. It was also the major source of drinking. Mud deposited by the Nile was used to make bricks for construction. The Nile was the principal means of travel for the people of ancient Egypt as well.

Egypt River Nile

Above all, the Nile was crucial for farming. Every year, it would floodwaters receded, they left behind a layer of rich silt which made the land very fertile. It provided water for irrigation too. In short, without the Nile, agriculture, and therefore life, in ancient Egypt would have been impossible.

Recommended Watch: The Nile River: The Heart of Egyptian Civilization

When was the Egyptian civilization at its height?

Egyptian history can be divided into three main periods. They are the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. During these periods, power passed from one dynasty to another, but the land generally remained united, and Egyptian civilization was at its height.

The old Kingdom (about 2789-2250 B.C) is also called the Pyramid Age because during this period the Egyptians built the majestic pyramids that stand at Giza, near present-day Cairo.

During the Middle Kingdom (about 2134-1778 B.C) corruption and rebellions were common. Still, strong rulers did organize a large drainage project, creating vast new stretches of farmable land.

The New Kingdom (about 1567-1080 B.C.) is also known as the Age of Empire because, during this period, ambitious pharaohs created a large empire. At its height, the empire reached the Euphrates river, and they were in greater contact with the Middle East as well as other parts of Africa.

Must-Watch Documentary: The Nile – On the Banks of the World’s Longest River

Video: Free Documentary – Nature

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