The Nile: Important in life and death?

As we have learned in class and through readings, the Nile River has served as a true lifeline to Egypt, in ancient times and in the present. Without this massive water source, this inhospitable region would be uninhabitable and we would not be studying its ancient remains today.

Because of Egypt’s unusual environment, the Nile River was key to survival to pharaonic civilization. Without it, there would have been no agriculture or transportation between the Delta and Upper Nubia. Without agriculture, a civilization cannot last and without transportation, they can not thrive.

Because of the aggradation of the floodplains of Egypt, the Nile River has help archaeologists uncover the ancient remains of pharaonic times. These remains have helped researchers understand the importance of the Nile to the people of this time and have even shed light on the importance of this great water source in death. For example, due to the great preservation and lack of looting to the tomb of Tutankhamen, burial remains, such as the eleven oars placed between the north wall of the tomb and the body, suggest that he who resides in the tomb thought water transportation was very important. It was thought that ancient Egyptian’s believed that they needed something to be buried with them to help them be transported from the mortal world to the after life. The oars situated in Tutankhamen’s tomb may be because of his journey to come after his death. One may wonder if because the oars were placed between the body and the north wall, he may be heading down stream after death, since the Nile flows north. This is an example of how important context is. Without knowing exactly where these oars were situated, we may have no clue what exactly they meant, why they were there, or where they came from. Though the true reason for the placement of these oars may be debatable, the very presence of them show there was a significant meaning to them, the importance of transportation and the Nile River, without which life couldn’t be sustained in this area.