The Nile Valley - Hewlett

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Transcript The Nile Valley - Hewlett

The Nile Valley
Ancient Egypt
Settling the Nile
When was the Nile Valley settled?
 Between 6000 BCE
and 5000 BCE,
hunters and
gatherers moved
into green Nile River
valley, farmed land
and created
villages along
Why is the Nile River called the
“Mighty River”?
 With little rainfall, Egyptians relied on Nile River for water
for drinking, bathing, farming, cooking and cleaning.
The Nile also provided fish, and supported plants and
 The Nile is the world’s longest river, flowing north from
heart of Africa to Mediterranean Sea
 The Nile is 4,000 miles long, and begins as two separate
rivers – Blue Nile and White Nile
 Narrow cliffs and boulders form wild rapids called
cataracts – large ships can only use last 650 miles of Nile
because of cataracts (when it flows through Egypt)
Why is the Nile Valley called a
“Sheltered Land”?
 The Nile runs through a narrow, green valley in
Egypt; Before reaching Mediterranean Sea, The
Nile divides into branches that fan out over area of
fertile soil called The Nile Delta.
 Sahara aka Western Desert and Eastern Deserts
surround Nile Valley and its delta-“the Red Land”
(deserts) kept outside armies away from Egypt’s
 Also protected the Egyptians: Nile’s dangerous
cataracts blocked enemy boats from reaching
Egypt- Delta marshes offered no harbors for
invaders approaching from the sea
First Cataract of the Nile
Six Cataracts of the Nile River
Third Cataract show below
Did the Nile have a “Regular
Flooding” season?
 The people of The Nile Valley were called “The
River People”- Egyptians depended on flooding to
grow crops and Egyptians welcomed the floods
 More dependable and gentle floods than Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers – Egyptians farmed and lived
 Heavy rains from central Africa and melting snows
from the highlands added to the Nile every spring
 Nile flooded from July to October and then left a
layer of dark, fertile mud, this land was called
Kemet – “the Black Land”
How Did the Egyptians Use the
 • Good irrigation system - Dug basins and
canals to carry water to fields and built dikes
 • Used technology and developed
geometry to divide the land
 • Used papyrus to make baskets, sandals
and river rafts and for papermaking
Egyptian Irrigation Technology
the Shaduf
What are hieroglyphics?
 Complex writing system combining picture
symbols and sound symbols.
 Scribes: kept records and worked for the rulers,
priests, and traders, carved hieroglyphics onto
stone walls and monuments and invented
simpler script and wrote or painted on papyrus
“A United Egypt”?
 Skilled farming
led to surplus
 Artisans
crafts to trade
 Trading brought
goods and
ideas to Egypt
“The Rise of Government”?
 Advances in trade and crafts created the
need for government
 Earliest rulers were chiefs, strong chiefs united
villages into kingdoms
 Strongest kingdom overpowered others
 Lower Egypt- Nile Delta, Upper Egypt south or
up river
Who were Egypt’s ruling families?
 Narmer/Menes was king of
Upper Egypt; he led armies
to take over lower Egypt
 Rules from Memphis, wore a
double crown
 United Egypt became a
dynasty; was ruled by
Narmer’s descendants for
31 dynasties (2,800 years)
What was early Egyptian life like?
 Divided up into social groups based on wealth and power.
How were Egypt’s social classes
divided up?
 On top was the king and his family, the upper
class was made up of nobles, priests, and
government officials.
 Middle class- merchants, then artisans, then
farmers and unskilled workers.
What was family life like in Egypt?
 Father was head of the family
 Women had right to own property, buy and
sell goods.
 Children learned from their parents- girls to
cook and sew from mom; boys to farm or
trade from dad. Few went to school.
Questions and Answers
What physical features border the Nile River to the east
and west?
 The Eastern Desert and Western (Sahara) Desert
About how far is it from the first cataract to the second
 About 180 miles. Estimate of 150-200
What was Egypt’s physical setting like?
 Egypt lay in the fertile Nile River Valley surrounded by
deserts and the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
How did the deserts surrounding the Nile Valley help
protect Egypt?
 They kept invaders away from Egypt’s territory.
More Questions and Answers
How does the Hymn show that the ancient
Egyptians thought of the Nile as a god?
 It credits the river with causing everything to
exist and prosper.
What crops did the ancient Egyptians grow?
 Successful farmers – wheat, barley and flax
seed; had a surplus of food for themselves and
Even More Questions and Answers
What is a dynasty?
 A line of rulers from one family.
Which civilization had greater natural defenses, the Mesopotamians or the
 Egypt: Nile delta, Sahara Desert, Eastern Desert, and cataracts isolated the area.
Compare the governments of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Use the chart on page 44 of
 Mesopotamia had city states led by kings and priest, empires eventually formed.
Egypt had villages led by chiefs that united into kingdoms, eventually
by the pharaoh.
How did the government ensure that enough people were available to harvest the
 The government drafted people to help during the busy seasons.
Why do you think seeds, fruit, and other additives were reserved for the wealthy?
 Those additives might have been expensive or hard to get.
The Last of the Questions and
What group was just below the pharaoh in Egyptian society?
 Priests and nobles.
Who made up the largest group in Egyptian society?
 Farmers.
What is papyrus and how did the Egyptians use it?
 Papyrus is a reed plant that was used to make baskets, sandals, river rafts and paper.
What rights did women have in ancient Egypt?
 Women could own and pass on property, buy and sell goods, make wills, obtain
divorces, and take part in religious ceremonies.
Describe the Egyptian writing system.
 Picture symbols called hieroglyphics, stood for objects, ideas and sounds.