why was egyptian agriculture dependent on the nile

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The civilization of ancient Egypt was indebted to the Nile River

Nile

The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, and is the longest river in Africa and the disputed longest river in the world, as the Brazilian government claims that the Amazon River is longer than the Nile. The Nile, which is about 6,650 km long, is an “international…

and its dependable seasonal flooding. The river’s predictability and fertile soil allowed the Egyptians to build an empire on the basis of great agricultural wealth. Egyptians are credited as being one of the first groups of people to practice agriculture on a large scale.

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How did the Nile River help farmers in Egypt?

 · The civilization of ancient Egypt was indebted to the Nile River and its dependable seasonal flooding. The river’s predictability and fertile soil allowed the Egyptians to build an empire on the basis of great agricultural wealth. Egyptians are credited as being one of the first groups of people to practice agriculture on a large scale.

What is the relationship between the Nile River and Egyptian gods?

By the time of the predynastic Amratian culture, about 5550 bp, agriculture appears to have begun in the valley alluviums of the Nile. By late predynastic times, about 5050 bp, there is evidence of a considerable growth in wealth deriving from agricultural development and accompanied by a more hierarchical social system.

What was the agriculture like in ancient Egypt?

 · The Nile Was a Source of Rich Farmland. The Nile’s modern name comes from the Nelios, the Greek word for river valley. But the ancient Egyptians called it Ar or Aur, meaning …

Why was the Nile Delta important to ancient Egypt?

The ancient Egyptians based their farming around the annual flooding of the River Nile. There were three seasons in the Egyptian calendar: Akhet Also called the Season of the Inundation. Heavy …

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What was the agricultural industry in ancient Egypt?

The Nile valley. In ancient Egypt, agricultural exploitation apparently did not intensify until domesticated animals from Southwest Asia were introduced. By the first quarter of the 7th millennium bp in Al-Fayyūm, some villages were keeping sheep, goats, and swine and cultivating emmer, barley, cotton, and flax, which was woven into linen.

What crops were grown in the Egyptian field?

It was winnowed by tossing in the wind, which caused the chaff to blow away and the grain to fall back into the basket, and was then stored in great silos. Lentils, beans, flax, and onions ( Allium species) were other important Egyptian field crops.

What animals were domesticated in Egypt?

Depictions on tombs and artifacts from the dynastic periods indicate that, in addition to present-day domesticates, animals such as the gazelle, deer ( Cervidae species), hyena ( Hyaenidae species), and aoudad, or Barbary sheep ( Ammotragus lervia ), were kept either in captivity or under some form of control. Whether this can be regarded as domestication is unclear, but certainly some aspects of animal husbandry were practiced with these unusual animals. Some early villages in Egypt relied heavily on gazelles as a food source. Some scholars have suggested that incipient gazelle domestication may have been under way during the predynastic period, but this hypothesis has been challenged by other researchers. It has also been suggested that millet was a staple crop in ancient Egypt.

Where did agriculture begin?

By the time of the predynastic Amratian culture, about 5550 bp, agriculture appears to have begun in the valley alluviums of the Nile. By late predynastic times, about 5050 bp, there is evidence of a considerable growth in wealth deriving from agricultural development and accompanied by a more hierarchical social system.

When was millet first used in Egypt?

It has also been suggested that millet was a staple crop in ancient Egypt. By the beginning of Egypt’s 4th dynasty, about 4525 bp, agriculture had become a sophisticated enterprise.

Where were animals kept in Egypt?

Elsewhere, at Al-Badarī in Upper Egypt, animals were also kept; the fact that dead domesticated animals were wrapped in linen and then buried close to villages may indicate that agriculture was closely associated with some form of religious belief. Plowing and sowing in Thebes.

What animals did the 6th dynasty own?

One wealthy landlord in the 6th dynasty owned 1,000 cattle, 760 asses, 2,200 goats, and 1,000 sheep.

What did the Nile provide Egypt with?

The Nile, which flows northward for 4,160 miles from east-central Africa to the Mediterranean, provided ancient Egypt with fertile soil and water for irrigation, as well as a means of transporting materials for building projects. Its vital waters enabled cities to sprout in the midst of a desert.

Why was the Nile important to ancient Egypt?

From nourishing agricultural soil to serving as a transportation route, the Nile was vital to ancient Egypt’s civilization.

What did the ancient Egyptians use to predict the floods?

To predict whether they faced dangerous floods or low waters that could result in a poor harvest, the ancient Egyptians built nilometers —stone columns with markings that would indicate the water level.

Why is the Nile called the Nile Valley?

The Nile’s modern name comes from the Nelios, the Greek word for river valley. But the ancient Egyptians called it Ar or Aur, meaning “black,” a reference to the rich, dark sediment that the Nile’s waters carried from the Horn of Africa northward and deposited in Egypt as the river flooded its banks each year in late summer. That surge of water and nutrients turned the Nile Valley into productive farmland, and made it possible for Egyptian civilization to develop in the midst of a desert.

How did the Egyptians use the Nile River?

To make the best use of the waters of the Nile river, the Egyptians developed systems of irrigation. Irrigation allowed the Egyptians to use the Nile’s waters for a variety of purposes. Notably, irrigation granted them greater control over their agricultural practices. Floodwaters were diverted away from certain areas, such as cities and gardens, to keep them from flooding. Irrigation was also used to provide drinking water to Egyptians. Despite the fact that irrigation was crucial to their agricultural success, there were no statewide regulations on water control. Rather, irrigation was the responsibility of local farmers. However, the earliest and most famous reference to irrigation in Egyptian archaeology has been found on the mace head of the Scorpion King, which has been roughly dated to about 3100 BC. The mace head depicts the king cutting into a ditch that is part of a grid of basin irrigation. The association of the high ranking king with irrigation highlights the importance of irrigation and agriculture to their society.

Why was the Nile River important to ancient Egypt?

The civilization of ancient Egypt was indebted to the Nile River and its dependable seasonal flooding. The river’s predictability and fertile soil allowed the Egyptians to build an empire on the basis of great agricultural wealth. Egyptians are credited as being one of the first groups of people to practice agriculture on a large scale.

What did the Egyptians eat?

The Egyptians grew a variety of crops for consumption, including grains, vegetables and fruits. However, their diets revolved around several staple crops, especially cereals and barley. Other major grains grown included einkorn wheat and emmer wheat, grown to make bread.

What was the ancient Egyptian agriculture?

Ancient Egyptian agriculture. Ploughing with a yoke of horned cattle in ancient Egypt. Painting from the burial chamber of Sennedjem, c. 1200 BC. The civilization of ancient Egypt was indebted to the Nile River and its dependable seasonal flooding.

What were the fruits of the Egyptian civilization?

Fruits were a common motif of Egyptian artwork , suggesting that their growth was also a major focus of agricultural efforts as the civilization’s agricultural technology developed. Unlike cereals and pulses, fruit required more demanding and complex agricultural techniques, including the use of irrigation systems, cloning, propagation and training. While the first fruits cultivated by the Egyptians were likely indigenous, such as the palm date and sorghum, more fruits were introduced as other cultural influences were introduced. Grapes and watermelon were found throughout predynastic Egyptian sites, as were the sycamore fig, dom palm and Christ’s thorn. The carob, olive, apple and pomegranate were introduced to Egyptians during the New Kingdom. Later, during the Greco-Roman period peaches and pears were also introduced.

What was the Egyptian system of water management?

Egyptians developed and utilized a form of water management known as basin irrigation. This practice allowed them to control the rise and fall of the river to best suit their agricultural needs. A crisscross network of earthen walls was formed in a field of crops that would be flooded by the river.

What type of cattle were in ancient Egypt?

Cattle. See also: Cattle count. Ancient Egyptian cattle were of four principal different types: long-horned, short-horned, polled and zebuine. The earliest evidence for cattle in Egypt is from the Fayoum region, dating back to the fifth millennium BC.

Why was farming important in ancient Egypt?

One of the reasons why the Ancient Egyptian civilization was so successful was the fact that they were able to farm the fertile soil around the Nile and produce their own food and cloth.

When does the Nile flood in Egypt?

During the early summer months the mountain region of Ethiopia experiences periods of heavy monsoon rainfall which increase the water level of the Nile causing it to flood in Egypt between June and September. The Egyptians call this the inundation.

What animals were raised in Egypt?

Fruit and vegetables were harvested when they ripened. Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, goats, and oxen were raised by farmers for their meat, milk, hides and also to help with Egyptian farming. This article is part of our larger selection of posts about Egypt in the ancient world.

How was grain cut?

Grain was cut using a sickle. The cut grain was then tied into bundles and carried away.

When was the Aswan Dam built?

The first Aswan dam was opened in 1902 but it proved to be insufficient and had to be raised twice in 1907–1912 and 1929–1933. In 1960 work began on a second dam, the Aswan High Dam which, since its opening in 1970 has prevented further floods.

What animals walked over the fields to push the seeds into the ground?

They had hand ploughs or larger ones that were pulled by oxen. Seeds were then sown into the newly ploughed soil. Goats and other animals then walked over the fields to push the seeds into the ground.

Why did farmers not work in ancient Egypt?

In the fields covered by the flood for longer, the farmers did not work, they let their flocks of sheep, goats or pigs, buried the grains trampling the earth. In ancient Egypt almost no rain, to prevent the plants from drying, farmers in ancient Egypt dug small channels that filled with water from the Nile.

What was the source of farming in Ancient Egypt?

Farming in Ancient Egypt was linked to the flood of the Nile and the silt deposited in the soil, turning it into a green and fertile mantle.

What were the animals that devastated the fields of ancient Egypt?

Farmers in ancient Egypt also had to face the animals that devastated the fields, such as birds, hippos, locusts, mice, wandering cattle ….

What were the fruits of ancient Egypt?

Some invading brought new species such as apples, olives and pomegranates. In addition, pears, peaches, cherries and almonds appeared during the time of the Greek pharaohs. To make fabrics and ropes, the farmers in ancient Egypt also cultivated flax.

Where did the floods occur in Egypt?

Floods caused during the summer season in the upper part of the Nile River Basin (located near the equator).

What instrument was invented by the New Kingdom?

Until the New Kingdom, they used pitchers, later they invented the Shadoof, an instrument still used today, formed by a crowbar with a container on one side and a counterweight on the other.

Overview

Farming systems

The civilization of ancient Egypt developed in the arid climate of northern Africa. This region is distinguished by the Arabian and Libyan deserts, and the River Nile. The Nile is the longest river in the world, flowing northward from Lake Victoria and eventually emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile has two main tributaries: the Blue Nile which originates in Ethiopia, and the White Nilethat flows from Uganda. While the White Nile is considered to be longer and easier to traverse, t…

Beginnings of agriculture

Faiyum Oasis provides the evidence for the earliest agriculture in Egypt. Domesticated sheep, goat, pig, and cattle are attested very early. Sheep at the site of Qasr El-Sagha is dated at 5350 BC (7350 cal BP), and sheep, goat and cattle at 5150 BC (7150 cal BP).
As to the crops, emmer wheat and barleyare found in the Faiyum, at the sites of Kom K and Kom W, dated ca. 4500-4200 BC. Plentiful pottery is found at these sites, but there’s little evidence of per…

Crops grown

The Egyptians grew a variety of crops for consumption, including grains, vegetables and fruits. However, their diets revolved around several staple crops, especially cereals and barley. Other major grains grown included einkorn wheat and emmer wheat, grown to make bread. Other staples for the majority of the population included beans, lentils, and later chickpeas and fava beans. Root crops, such as onions, garlic and radishes were grown, along with salad crops, such as lettuce and p…

Livestock

Ancient Egyptian cattle were of four principal different types: long-horned, short-horned, polled and zebuine. The earliest evidence for cattle in Egypt is from the Faiyum region, dating back to the fifth millennium BC. In the New Kingdom, hump-backed zebuine cattle from Syria were introduced to Egypt, and seem to have replaced earlier types.
Manmade incubators, called Egyptian egg ovens, date back to the 4th century BCand were used t…

Religion and agriculture

In ancient Egypt, religion was a highly important aspect of daily life. Many of the Egyptians’ religious observances were centered on their observations of the environment, the Nile and agriculture. They used religion as a way to explain natural phenomena, such as the cyclical flooding of the Nile and agricultural yields.
Although the Nile was directly responsible for either good or bad fortune experienced by the Egy…

See also

• Land reform in ancient Egypt
• Badari culture

Bibliography

• Jared Diamond, Guns, germs and steel. A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years, 1997.

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