So what benefits did the ancient Egyptians derive from the river Nile?
In other words, how far is the below statement a true reflection of the economic life of the ancient Egyptians?
“EGYPT IS THE NILE AND THE NILE IS EGYPT”
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This short WASSCE History tutorial is going to help you answer, in the most appropriate manner, the above question on the role of the Nile in the economic prosperity of Pharaonic Egypt once and for all.
Are you a student of African history in any part of the world? Will you soon be taking a test which involves knowledge of the history of Ancient Egypt or Pharaonic Egypt?
Maybe you simply want to learn more about the importance of the Nile River in the lives of the people of Ancient Egypt.
Whatever your interest level in Ancient Egypt and its dependence on the Nile River, you will find your much-needed information in this post.
Let’s now set the ball rolling!
Ancient Egypt and the river Nile
The land of Ancient Egypt was a dry plateau on both sides of the Nile. It was the Nile, which helped this dry land to advance in many ways.
Benefits from the Nile River
Below is a summarized list of the points you need to write a complete essay on how the Ancient Egyptians benefited from the river Nile.
1. Floodwater from the Nile deposited silt on its banks serving as manure for farming – wheat, barley, cotton, olive, vegetables etc.
2. The Nile water was directed through dug canals to supply water to farmlands.
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3. The Ancient Egyptians invented “shaduff” as a means of irrigating farmlands with water from the river Nile
4. Furthermore, the Nile River served as a means of transportation for the people of Pharaonic Egypt.
Thus, it promoted the ship building industry as well as trade with India, Cyprus, the Levant and many others in the ancient world.
5. Fish from the Nile serve as sources of food and protein.
6. Point number 5 above means that the river Nile gave the people of Ancient Egypt a profitable occupation in fishing and agriculture in general.
7. Water from the Nile helped the people in their domestic chores such as washing and cooking. Also, the Ancient Egyptians used the water for industrial purposes. An example is the manufacture of medicine.
8. The Nile River made it possible for the ancient Egyptians to establish a powerful and most feared naval force. This was extremely useful during their wars with neighbouring kingdoms.
Thus, the entire, socioeconomic life of Ancient Egypt was tied to the Nile. Indeed, the ancient Egyptians used the Nile and its waters for agricultural, domestic industrial and military purposes. The river Nile was also a source of food and occupation. Clearly, then, the statement “Egypt is the Nile and the Nile is Egypt” is, to a very large extent, a valid one.
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