Ancient Egyptian Civilization:| The Nile River| | Outline: Thesis: Early Egyptian civilization developed along the Nile River because water was very scarce elsewhere in Egypt. I. Introduction: A. Throughout history there have been many civilizations observed to begin and develop along rivers B. Egyptians developed along the Nile River because of the necessity of water II. Sahara Desert lack of water resources drives Egyptians toward the Nile: A. Definition of desert 1. A desert is a region that few life forms can survive; especially humans, because of lack of water or absence of soil B.
The Sahara desert; throughout history, has undergone many climate changes 1. The Sahara desert was very dry and arid after last Ice Age a. In need of water, led to original Egyptian migration to the Nile River 2. Due to massive amounts rain, the Sahara became habitable a. Egyptians benefited from livestock and vegetation 3. Desertification of the Sahara Desert a. Egyptian population shifts back toward the Nile III. The River provides many natural necessities and advantages A. Egyptians relied on The Nile River’s yearly floods 1.
Flood water made land very fertile, which allowed farming to be possible a. Laid seed and grew crops 2. With steady water supply, Egyptians learn how to use the river water more efficiently a. Developed process of irrigation b. Increased output and variety of agriculture B. The Nile River is heavily populated with fish 1. Certain regions of Nile had unreliable flooding, causing some to resort to fishing 2. Size and amount of fish was very large IV. Conclusion A. The Nile River provided Egyptians many necessities 1. Hydration, farming, irrigation, fish etc. B.
The Nile River provided a more positive and efficient way of life 4. Why did early Egyptian civilization develop along the Nile River? Egyptian civilization develops there because “The narrow ribbon of the Nile River… cuts through the desert sands of northern Africa, giving life to the communities on its banks. ” It seems as though throughout history, many of the ancient civilizations of this planet began to develop and prosper along rivers or river valleys. There are many reasons as to why groups of people found it much more advantageous to develop their society along these specific geographical features.
Some reasons may be deemed necessity, while others could be considered luxury; however there seems to be a consistent factor that caused ancient societies to develop along rivers. Just like every other civilization, the Egyptians needed water. Early Egyptian civilization developed along the Nile River because water was very scarce elsewhere in Egypt. It is common knowledge that in order to survive in life, all human beings require water. It has been a necessity to the human race since the dawn of time.
One place that usually has very scarce water resources or none at all is a desert. A desert is a region that few life forms can survive; especially humans, because of lack of water or absence of soil. The eastern portion of the Sahara desert consumes Egypt making the survival of its people depend majorly on the characteristics of the desert. The Sahara desert; throughout history, has undergone many climate changes forcing Egyptians to alternate back and forth from establishing land based civilizations or to organizing along the Nile River.
After the last ice age; approximately 22,000 years ago, it is proven that the Sahara was very similar to what it is today, which is very dry, arid and lacking the necessary water resources for survival. This resulted in the original migration to the Nile River by the very early Egyptians. However; several thousand years later, massive amounts of rain and precipitation began to consume the once dry wasteland and converted it into a habitable area capable of supporting human life, along with vegetation and livestock.
Due to the moist environment present along the steppe, it was a period for Egyptians where they were not solely dependent on the Nile River because their water requirements; along with the benefits water brings, were readily available elsewhere. Egyptians enjoyed cattle-raising and there was also a plentiful amount of game, which resulted in hunting to become very popular and also an excellent source of food. This marked a time where farming and cattle-raising played a major role in life of an Egyptian.
But this period came to an end around 7,500 years ago when rain began to decrease substantially, leading to the eventual desertification of the Sahara Desert, causing the Egyptian population to shift back toward the Nile River. It is obviously noticeable that Egyptian way of life and survival depended on the availability of water resources. They once enjoyed pastor lands in the ancient habitable Sahara desert, but due to massive climate changes, water became extremely scarce and non-existent forcing them to once again depend on the Nile.
The Nile River provided life to what was a desert wasteland that surrounded the people located in Egypt. Due to the extreme decrease in rainfall throughout Egypt; resulting from the massive climate change of the Sahara Desert, the early Egyptians began to depend majorly on the yearly cycles of the Nile. The Nile River had yearly floods in which the Egyptians relied on to water their crops to provide a food source in order to survive. The way in which this strategy was used was the river normally flooded around mid July and would eventually consume the land with a thin layer of water until approximately October.
Once the field was fertile farmers would have either humans or large animals; such as oxen, pull plows which allowed the planting of seeds. This process laid the basis for very fertile land able to able to grow a substantial amount of crops. However, sometimes flooding would result in many crops dying. To prevent this from happening and losing crops, many channels within the soil were created to guide the water to the crops. When the flood was low the channels would open, allowing crops the access to water.
When the flood was high the channels would close at a certain point so only some water could reach the crops and the crops would not flood. This process is called irrigation. Without the Nile River, water resources and techniques to productively use the water to survive would not have been found or developed. Egyptians used the Nile to the best of their advantage and accomplished many achievements, since the Nile was a steady water supply Egyptians were able to focus on more efficient farming.
Due to having a river civilization, the great opportunity of being able to increase the output of agriculture and also the variety of the agricultural output, provided the Egyptians a more efficient and productive way of life. Egyptians were able to increase the amount of cultivated land, which had a major influence on the agricultural yield. Along with the increase in fertile land, the Egyptians developed tools and technique to better prepare the soil for planting. This process would not have been possible elsewhere because water was extremely scarce.
Due to the different fluctuations of flooding and other natural events, the Nile was sometimes found to be unreliable to its inhabitants surrounding it. In different regions, there was either over flooding or very shallow flooding making agriculture and harvesting very difficult and or even sometimes impossible. Therefore, the Egyptians necessity for water and dependence on the Nile River was not based solely on the benefits of farming and irrigation. The Nile River was an ultimate food source because not only did it allow the growth of food from the earth but it also provided a plentiful amount of fish.
This resulted in many Egyptians resorting to hunting for fish. Fishing became very popular because the enormous amount of fish available and also the size of the fish. Species of fish such as perch or catfish provided Egyptian families a sufficient amount of food. Without the Nile River, the Ancient Egyptians would not have been able to rely on fish as a food source, which would have been extremely detrimental to their survival. Water is not such a simple requirement; human beings depend on water for their survival for other purposes rather than its direct requirement of hydration.
The Nile River; a water supply which the Egyptians desperately required, provided a place of sanctity and security from the harsh climate conditions and changes of the Sahara Desert. The Nile’s water supply was also very important due to its advantages it provided in farming and irrigation. This process was especially influential to Egyptian civilization developing along the river because it provided a stable food source that was almost non-existent elsewhere in Egypt. Finally, another reason ancient Egyptian civilization developed along the Nile is because of the massive amount of fish that populated the river water.
Some Egyptians had to rely more on fishing than growing crops because in certain areas of the Nile River valley; due to either too much or too little flooding, agriculture was unreliable. With the combination of the human necessities for hydration, and food (farming and fishing), the Nile River was an easy and logical choice to live. Without water, none of the above advantages would have been possible. Therefore, the early Egyptians developed along the Nile River because water was very scarce elsewhere and was key to their survival.
Bibliography Brewer, Douglas J. and Renee F. Friedman. Fish and Fishing in Ancient Egypt, Warminster, Wilshire, England: Aris & Phillips Ltd. , 1989. Carey, Bjorn. “Sahara Desert Was Once Lush and Populated. ” 20 July 2006. Live Science, 17 November 2009 <http://www. livescience. com/history/060720_sahara_rains. html>. Cerveny, Randy and Niccole Cerveny. “Egypt & Water: The Lifeline of a Civilzation. ” Weatherwise 59 (2006): http://0-search. ebscohost. com. library. lemoyne. edu/login. aspx? irect=true&db=afh&AN=23190705&site=ehost-live 21 Novemeber 2009. Currey, James. General History of Africa: II Ancient Civilizations of Africa, California: Unesco, 1990. Hassan, Fekri A. “The dynamics of a riverine civilization: A geoarchaeological perspective on the Nile Valley, Egypt. ” World Archaeology 29 (1997): http://0-search. ebscohost. com. library. lemoyne. edu/login. aspx? direct=true&db=afh&AN=9708113739&site=ehost-live 21 Novemeber 2009. Mason, Betsy. “Egypt felled by famine. ” New Scientist 173 (2002): http://0-search. bscohost. com. library. lemoyne. edu/login. aspx? direct=true&db=afh&AN=6457767&site=ehost-live 21 Novemeber 2009. Streich, Michael. Suite 101. 6 February 2009. 18 Novemeber 2009 <http://egyptian-history. suite101. com/article. cfm/the_nile_river_in_ancient_egyptian_civilization>. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Randy Cerveny; Niccole Cerveny, “Egypt & Water: The Lifeline of a Civilization,” Weatherwise 59 (2006) 21, http://0-search. ebscohost. com. library. lemoyne. edu/login. aspx? direct=true&