The development of Egypt was essentially impacted by its geographical features. Because agriculture was of significant importance to ancient Egyptians, it was also the foundation of Egypt’s prosperity. Egypt is separated by two lands, the “Black Land”, which is the fertile land on the banks of the Nile that the ancient Egyptians used to plant their crops. It contained a layer of rich black silt that built up every year after the flood. The “Red Land”, which is dessert, protected Egypt on two sides from nearby countries and invasion.
It also provided Egypt with precious metals, stones and oil. Egypt is agriculturally gifted with the Nile River, which is nourished by tropical lakes of Central Africa and smaller rivers forming the Nile. Fine stone dust forming black mud develops from the rivers carrying rocky debris. In places where the rivers don’t erode debris, water is forced through forming waterfalls, which forms the boundary of Egypt. Rocky walls, 600-800 feet, borders each side of the Nile Valley.
The cliffs are high, surrounded by sand from the Libyan and Sahara Desserts and equivalent to high mountains; also providing bordering and natural resources, like gold and precious stones. The Upper Nile gets very little rain, yet the Delta, whose length is about 10,000 miles long, gets regular rain. However, the Upper Nile is easier to cultivate due to lack of seasons and less swamp. From April through November, Egypt’s temperatures reach 110 degrees. The rest of the year is cool with temperatures falling near freezing at night.
The raining season causes the Nile to flood and rise beginning in June, and reaching its highest peak around September or October. When the river settles, fine materials are deposited creating black mud; producing fertile soil rich in nutrients and nitrogen. This is the time Egyptians plant their crops, as the rich soil brings good harvests and wealth to the land producing crops to support animal and plant life. Ancient Egyptian’s diet was not limited to agriculture; the Nile also supplied fish year round.
The Nile River is the longest river in the world and because of its strong floods were the ancient Egyptians able to stabilize their government. When other ancient world countries were experiencing famine conditions, Egypt had plenty of water, wheat and barley to live on. During flooding season, Egyptians used that time to build. They were a thriving civilization producing homes, temples, statues, canals, and other large buildings that served the community. Ancient Egyptian population consisted of Farmers, Craftsmen and scribes, and a small group of nobles.
They built their community with mud brick homes in villages and throughout the country. Because they grew their own food and produced most of their goods, they exported their goods and services to other countries and with their natural barriers that protected them from invasions, trading were not a problem. Ancient Egyptian was a command economy. The government dictated citizen’s work and what goods and services to produce. The most important aspects of their economy was agriculture; the backbone of their prosperity, and oil, which was mainly used to pay state workers.
With an active exchange of goods and services, imports and exports, and their productive farming, were they able to develop many cities, which attracted textile, glass, metal linen, leather, and many other industries. The Nile also served as a center for the Egyptian’s social life and recreation. Ancient Egypt’s prosperity was heavily influenced by the blessed Nile waters, as it was linked to their livelihood, as it is in every society, and the reason ancient Egyptians centered their lives on the Nile.
With their creativity to master the river’s power, their society flourished and their daily life impacted by the river; agriculturally, socially, and religiously. Because they were a religious and agricultural society, their earliest religious cults were sun and nature and they depended on both to produce at their expected times, and they did. They were able to build a society greatly impacted by the Nile River, and are one of the most successful and advanced societies of ancient times. Without the sacred Nile River, Egypt probably wouldn’t exist.