The Nile River

and how it helped Egypt

The Nile River was the highway of Egypt, Africa. Many of the citizens used the resource and land to get food, or tools to make boats. Take your time to appreciate this river; Egypt's blessing.


The Nile River was the highway of Egypt. Egyptians used boats to travel from place to place. For a long while, boats were made out of a bunch of reeds. From the Old Kingdom and after, all boats of any height or weight were made of papyrus or wood. Special boats were made for funerals. Sailboats had sails to go south. If they wanted to go north, they'd just row with the current of the river.

Egyptians were known for trading rarities like frankincense, ivory tusks, animal skins, ebony, ostrich feathers, and sometimes even slaves. They traded with Middle Eastern kingdoms for cedar, silver, oil, and horses. It's obvious that Egypt was very wealthy in ancient times.


Egyptians had a "farming year" (and calendar) that was divided into three seasons; Inudation (meaning floods), Emergence (meaning time to plant and grow), and Harvest (collecting crops.) Inudation was not always bad, as it left layers of rich, thick black soil, great to plant crops in. This explains why Egyptians used to call their country "Kemet" meaning "black land".

The grain crops the Egyptians had were barley (a member of the grass family) and emmer wheat (a type of awned wheat.) Egyptians grew a number of vegetables like leeks, onions, garlic, beans, lentils (bushy annual plants and a member a the Legume family) lettuce, cucumbers, melons, dates, figs, pomegranates and gourds (in the family of pumpkins and squash. Gourds are usually curvy and weird-looking.) Many of these plants are still eaten today, including grapes that were made into wine to drink.


Egypt's homes were like ours. They were made solely of mud bricks and mortar (used to keep the mud bricks in place.) They most well known plant in Egypt, the papyrus plant, was a huge resource. It was used to make baskets, sandals for feet (I'm sure the sand was pretty hot in that sun), rope, paper that was used to write one, and boats, which we covered in the transportation section.

When it comes to the meat they ate, fish was the most common source of protein for the Egyptians. Groups of hunters (men) would hippos for meat and for sport or leisure. Only the high class would hunt birds in papyrus marshes. Wealthy households built garden pools and stocked their homes with lotuses (an aquatic plant much like a lily), fish. And clean water from the Nile that would be refilled daily. Nile water wasn't just or drinking, it was used for people to bathe and cook.


On our last topic, we'll be covering the landscape and attributes of the Nile River. If you have trouble understanding this, it's a river. It has water in it. The Nile River is the longest river in the WORLD- 4,135 miles! The Nile is quite an exquisite river. Unlike the other, it flows from the south to the north, instead of north to south. What you would not have known is that the Nile is divided into two parts, the Blue Nile and White Nile.