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History of the River Nile

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The Nile River

At over 4,100 miles long, the Nile River is the largest river in the world. It is located in the northwestern part of Africa. The Nile River flows through many African countries. These countries include Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Burundi. The White and Blue Nile are two extensive channels that feed into the Nile River. The Nile River runs north into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile River had a major impact on Ancient Egypt and Ancient Egyptians.

Around the same time, every year, the Nile would flood. The flooding would happen between June and September. There are two reasons people believed why. One reason was the snow and summer rain would overflow the river. Another reason, or theory consisted of the goddess Isis. Ancient Egyptians believed the Nile would flood because she would cry so much over the death of her husband, Osiris. Out of these two theories, back in Ancient Egypt the most believed one was the snow and summer rain theory.

As a result of the flooding, the Nile River provided many sources for the Ancient Egyptians. One of these sources included fertile soil. The soil around the Nile River was very rich, therefore it was good for farmlands. Papyrus, wheat, and flax were the three main crops grown from this rich soil. These weren’t only the main crops, but they were the most important crops grown. The papyrus was used to make sandals, ropes, baskets and paper. Wheat was used for making bread; the flax was used for linen cloth, which was used for clothes. As a result of the rich soil, and the growing of the three crops, the Ancient Egyptians were able to make a living.

The Nile was also good for building materials. The flooding of the river provided a black silt. This black mud was used for building homes. The silt was used for many purposes especially for building purposes like walls. The Nile River was also used for transportation. Ancient Egyptians used this a major tradeplace. They used the river for transporting goods and people.

The Nile River has three of its own seasons. The first season, which was the season of the flooding was named Akhet. The second season, Peret, which was for growing their crops. Finally, the last season, Shemu, was for harvesting. Each season has it own special purpose, just like the seasons we have today. The calendars that the Ancient Egyptians used were created around these three seasons. The Ancient Egyptians divided the calendars they used up into these three seasons. The Ancient Egyptians divided the calendars they used up into these three seasons.

In ancient Egypt there was a god for just about everything. Hapi was the god for the Nile River. Hapi was often depicted with women breasts and a bulging belly, even though Hapi was a male. The breasts and belly portrayed fertility, the ability to produce young. That contradicts with with his capability to sustain the land around the Nile when the flooding happened every year. Hapi was also depicted as wearing papyrus plants, which I mentioned before was used a lot around the Nile River. Since the Egyptians believed that Hapi the god of the Nile they would often thank him for the flooding that happened because it provided them with many useful things.

As I have mentioned before, the White Nile is one of the two extensive channels that came from the Nile River. The White Nile was larger than the Blue Nile. The White Nile comes from Lake Victoria. Since the White Nile had a longer way to travel it only gave 15% of it’s water to the Nile River. The White Nile gets its name from the color of it. It has a whitish-gray color. The White Nile has this color because of the things that travel throughout it, such as the gray color of sediment that flows with the White Nile.

The second extensive channel that comes from the Nile River us the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile originates from Lake Tana, which is found in the highlands of Ethiopia. The Blue and White Nile eventually meet to form the Nile River. Just like the White Nile, the Blue Nile gets its name from its color. The Blue Nile is originally bright blue color. Since the Blue Nile passes through Sudan it picks up sediments as it travels, so the color goes from bright blue to a darker shade of blue. Even though the Blue Nile is smaller than the White Nile it carries 66% of water that flows into the Nile River.

Many animals lived in and around the Nile River. Crocodiles were one of the many animals the lived in the Nile River. Birds such as heron, cranes, ibises, ducks, and geese lived around the Nile River. One animal, that many people feared, was the hippopotamus. The hippopotamus was the most powerful animal around the Nile River. Many frogs, fish, and lizards lived in the water. Gazelles, camels, donkeys, cattle, and sheep are some of the animals that lived on the land around the Nile.

Today the Nile River isn’t much different that what is was like in ancient Egypt. The land is still a little desolate. The Nile may make up about only 5% of Egypt’s land, but over 95% of the population in Egypt lives around the Nile. Just as it was in Ancient Egypt, the Nile River is still lifeblood of the country. The Nile River is now under control with the flooding. The Aswan Dam helps control the flooding. The winter snow and summer is still the main cause for the Nile’s flooding.

Citrus fruits, wheat, sugarcane, and cotton are some of the many crops that farmers grow around the Nile River. Many of the same animals still live in and around the Nile River today. Crocodiles and the birds are some of the animals that live in the Nile. Today, the hippopotamus still lives near the Nile River. Also, the Nile River is used for many things. Hydroelectricity is one of the many things. Dams were built to help generate hydroelectric power; these dams also help with the Nile’s annual flooding.

Websites (Sources)

http://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_egypt/geography_nile_river.php

http://www.ushistory.org/civ/3a.asp

http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/homework/egypt/nile.htm

http://www.egyptianmyths.net/hapi.htm

http://theonlyrivernile.weebly.com/the-white-nile.html

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Africaweb/factfile/africauniquefact2.htm

http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/egypt/environment/animals.htm

http://animalssafairs.blogspot.com/2012/10/africa-river-horses-hippopotamus-trails.html#.VKsOJpUtBMs

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/nile-river4.htm


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