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The Nile River Valley Physical Geography - The Nile River flows north from the headwaters in Burundi to the Mediterranean Sea. - Measuring 6,650 kilometers, the Nile River, is the longest river in the world. - The mountainous Arabian Desert, the sandy Libyan Desert, and the Sahara Desert all surround the Nile River. - The rich, fertile land of the Nile was known as the “Black Land”. - The land of the desert was known as the “Red Land”. - The “Red Land” protected the Nile from invasions. The Flooding of the Nile - The Flooding of the Nile is an annual flood cycle in Egypt. - There are 3 stages of this cycle: 1) Akhet- The actual time of the Nile’s flooding 2) Peret- The sowing time (the time to plant the seeds) 3) Shemu- The time of harvest - Soil and Farming The floods left behind very rich, thick mud that was excellent for farming. Because it was so fertile the Egyptians could only grow their crops in this soil. All of the Egyptians had fields along the Nile. Egyptians grew crops such as wheat, barley, vegetables, figs, melons, pomegranates, and vines. Other crops such as flax and grain were also grown. The most important crop that was grown was grain. Technology - The weapons were made out of stone. The Nile River Valley - The weapons were used to hunt and kill animals, butcher meat, and to cut plants. - Another use of the weapons was to dig up things from the soil and to build simple shelters. Water - The first civilizations were located by the waters of the Nile River. - Civilizations were based near water because of the nutrient rich soil that is found there. - The waters of the Nile River flow upward, so lower Egypt is actually north and upper Egypt is actually south. - - Unification of Egypt Egypt was unified around 3100 BC under the first Egyptian dynasty. They claimed divine support, or power from God, for their rule. The Egyptians had absolute power and took pride in representing justice and order. The dynasty depended on viziers to supervise government business and order. Under them different departments handled all other matters (tax collection, farming, etc.) It took thousands of scribes just to carry out the viziers orders. Pyramids The Pyramids were built when Egypt was one of the most advanced civilizations in the world. The Great Pyramids of Giza are man-made structures. The ancient Egyptian Pyramids were built as a tomb for Pharaohs and their queens. Today there are about 80 pyramids known from ancient Egypt. The Nile River Valley - The three largest and best preserved pyramids are in Giza, built in the beginning of the Old Kingdom. - The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the Pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the “Great Pyramid” - Little Known Facts (the Old Kingdom) The Nile River is a “gift” without it Egypt would be “swallowed” by the barren deserts that surround it. Egyptians believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of Isis’s tears of sorrow for her dead husband, Osiris. The capital city of Egypt during the Old Kingdom Memphis. The shape of the pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the spreading rays of the sun.