Bonus Blog: The Nile River

I believe that the most important aspect of Egyptian archaeology is the Nile River. Without the Nile, this society would have failed to existed from the beginning. ‘The Gift of the Nile’ was Heroditus’ nickname for Egypt. Its inundations provided a lifeline for the citizens of ancient Egypt and allowed the society to pursue agriculture, advancing the growth of the empire. The Nile River also allowed Egyptians to access simple trade routes via boat, a practice that continued to lead to the expansion of Egypt throughout the centuries. The Nile River is also particularly interesting because of its historical implications. The Bible has stories of the Nile turning red and the floods that occurred.

Another aspect of the Nile River’s importance that is often overlooked is its use as a means of keeping track of time. Through the use of a Nilometer, a structure with marked points that the water would reach during inundation, Egyptians were not only able to create a decently accurate calendar for their time but also able to predict the floods that would occur to focus their activities around this process.

The Nile also created the Nile River Delta, a large patch of fertile land that Egyptians were able to exploit and use for agriculture. They were able to cultivate anything from wheat to fruit to barley that was used to create beer. This delta housed the locations of many of the most important cities in Egypt and allowed for the expansion of the empire outward as the years progressed. The Nile also allowed Egyptians to fish for meat and obtain necessary nutrients in the middle of the desert.

While it can easily be said that Egypt would not have existed without the Nile, it cannot be more simply put. For this reason, I believe that the Nile River is by far the most significant and important factor in Egyptian archaeology.