Prehistoric Egypt was essentially split into two parts; Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt.
Weirdly, Lower Egypt is located in the North while Upper Egypt is situated in the South. This appears unusual when looked at on a map, with Lower Egypt situated on the upper side of the country and Upper Egypt situated at the bottom side. However, the placement of these two kingdoms is understandable when you take into account the River Nile.
Contrary to how most rivers that begin in the North flow Southwards, the Nile behaves oppositely – it begins in the South and heads Northward.
So when early Egyptians were coming up with the names of their two Kingdoms, they put Upper Egypt to the South since that’s where the river starts ( topside of the river) and Lower Egypt to the North side since that is where the river comes to a stop (bottom side of the river). If you’re interested in visiting Egypt for your next vacation, you can check out the Serenity Fun City Resort for your accommodation.
The majority sections of the land in Egypt is covered by desert, but since the Nile flooded relatively each September, the river banks had fertile soil. This inferred that the soil located by the side of the Nile was rich with the nutrients to grow crops like papyrus, wheat, and flax. They referred to these rich soils as the ‘Gift of the Nile’ since without them, they wouldn’t be able to satisfy their livelihoods and they would harvest very little food.
The Egyptians were able to gauge the depth of the Nile yearly flood with the marvelously named ‘Nilometer’. This handy device enabled them to make a precise estimate of the number of crops they would harvest that year.
The early Egyptians translated that if the Nile didn’t flood, then they must have done something to anger their gods who would then carry out punishment subjecting them to famine and crop failure.
The prehistoric Egyptians grew a lot of foodstuffs in the fertile soil of the Nile River banks like vegetables (cucumbers, onions, cabbages, etc) and fruits (melons, figs, etc). However, the most essential crop that was grown was wheat, which was commonly used to make beer and bread. Right after the flooding receded, they would grow wheat first before undertaking any other farming activities.
The Egyptians would also go fishing in the Nile using nets and spears to nab food. In this manner, the Nile was still utilized to obtain food even when flooded and no crops could be sown or harvested.
Additionally, the lush crops growing by the side of the River banks also lured animals. This made the banks of the Nile an awesome spot to hunt – a well-liked sport of the Pharaohs who loved to showcase their aptitude by killing large, feared beasts.
The crops that were grown along the fertile river banks of the Nile were not just utilized for food and sustainable reasons.
A plant referred to as Flax was converted into linen that was used to make clothing. Producing ready-made linen was a very long procedure, so rich nobles got the softer, finer threads that took a prolonged duration to design.
The banks of the Nile also supported the growth of Papyrus. The most frequent application of Papyrus was to make paper for scribbling on. As a matter of fact, Papyrus functioned so properly that it was utilized by the Ancient Romans and Ancient Greeks.
Still, Papyrus also had other applications. It was used in making cloth, which functioned well as a sail for boats. It also made baskets, mats, rope, and sandals.
Given how the Nile was crucial to sustaining life in Ancient Egypt, the majority of the big and important cities were set up near the Nile. Hence the people in these cities would easily access all the resources the river had to offer.