“Egypt is the gift of the Nile!”
The Nile, the World’s longest river, extends for 6400 km. It starts in the heart of Africa (the Lake Victoria) to pass Uganda Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt to finally flow into the Mediterranean Sea. The Great Nile consists of several tributaries. The two main of them: the White and the Blue Nile meet in the Sudan capital of Khartoum to create a magnificent water line. This is the only river that crosses Sahara, creating enchanting retreat for exotic plants, various animal spices and humans.
Starting for the beginning of times people selected the valley to settle down and start their households. 5500 years ago, in about 3500 BC, the first nation state of Egyptians emerged here. There is an old Egyptian saying: “Who owns the Nile – owns the World.” This should be the main reason why people were so united by the River and made it the focal point of every aspect of life.
In Egypt the Nile inundated seasonally. The uncontrollable waters were bringing silt making the land so fertile that carelessly thrown seed would give incredible crop. Egyptians harvested twice a year which was unseen for the agricultural development of that time. The part of the products they got was stocked for the dry months; another part was sold to other lands. The Nile was contributing to the Egypt’s economic wealth turning the country into the main supplier in the region. Its value as a strong trader ensured stable dip lomatic relations with the neighbors and prevented conflicts.
The magnetic power of the Nile valley fostered the formation of the strong political unity and devotion. The Pharaoh owned the whole land. Together with the God Nile, he was believed to control floods. Thus, the nation depended of his will. Such attitude together with the fear created the strong labor force that finally constructed pyramids. The River played prominent part in Egyptians’ social and spiritual life. The calendar was adjusted to the inundation period, so the New Year was celebrated in the middle of summer. People organized welfares and festivals to praise the Nile, who would deign and send better harvest. If the person was dying it was crossing the Nile as a pass way from life to death. The East bank was considered to be the place of dead. Traditionally it was on the left of the person as Egyptians oriented towards South, where the River started.
The most surprising is that the Nile contributed to the development of science. For example, the origins of geometry are routed to the fl oods. The uncontrolled water flow each year was washing off the marks to outline the land ownerships. The scientists invented a mechanism to ease the restoration process. On the other hand the state of the agricultural nation needed innovative technologies to foster the further development: irrigation systems to increase the productiveness; water supply systems to provide water to homes a nd palaces; construction technologies to implement the ambitious projects. The court scientists and priests were constantly working on improvements.
Even today after thousands of years passed, hundreds of invaders changed, the Nile is still flowing and rewarding the people of Egypt with fertility and joy of prosperity. The people from their side are thankful to the nature and the God for the eternal faithful guard they have.