Posted by / Tuesday, 9 May 2017 / No comments

The importance of the Nile River to ancient Egypt

Egypt, Nile, River, Cruise, Dahabeya

The Nile River is an important river that spans several countries in the east, central and North Africa. It passes through countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Egypt etc. The Nile was very crucial to the economic and social life of the Egyptians.

Provision of moist for farming activities
One of the reasons why the Nile was very important to Egypt is the fact that it moistened their otherwise dry land to support agricultural activity. One of the main features of the Nile was its perennial flooding of its banks. Whenever there was flooding, it deposited silt on the banks which moistened the top soil. This created the perfect condition for farming activity.

Encouragement of ingenuity
Another important role of the Nile was its encouragement of ingenuity. The banks of the Nile and most parts of ancient kingdom of Egypt were dry lands. To be able to cultivate these lands, there was the need for water which was far away. The ancient Egyptian developed a system of canals which carried water from the river to the dry lands for farm activity. This promoted agriculture throughout the entire kingdom.

Stimulated engineering
The presence of the Nile and the abundance of water in it stimulated engineering. The ancient Egyptians invented a unique but very simple technology, called shaduf that helped to pump water to the dry areas. The main features of the machine were a bucket(s), a fixed pole and a pivot. As the devise turned on its pivot, it alternately deep the bucket into the Nile to fill it with water and empty it into a canal to be carried away to where it was most needed.

It boosted commercial farming
The Nile was also important to Egypt because it encouraged commercial farming. The annual flooding of the banks of the river, the construction of canals and the invention of the shaduf allowed vast dry lands to become arable for agriculture. More lands were cultivated, and more crops were produced. The Egyptian government provided storage facilities where surplus food was stored and later released into the market for sale and for exports to other regions.

Water transportation
The Nile was important because it created the avenue for water transportation. It allowed the carriage of goods and human beings across from one end to the other. Boats and canoes were used in the ferrying of the goods. In addition, there was the development of a boat building industry. Great ships were built to support their export and import trading activities.

The Nile was also important to the ancient Egyptian because it encouraged fishing. The people devised implements like the hook and line and used them to fish in the Nile. The fishing was important because it provided the fish protein needs of the people.

Protection against naval attacks
The Nile provided a means of protection for the kingdom of Egypt from foreign attacks. They were able to build war ships which were used in either repelling naval attacks from other nations or to launch naval attacks on their enemies. The Nile was therefore useful for food production and for the protection of the nation.

1. Outline six benefits that the ancient Egyptians derived from the Nile river.

2. In which six ways was the Nile important to the ancient Egyptian?

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