The Nile River and its Role in the ancient Egyptian Civilization
Egypt is the gift of the Nile. This is what many significant historians asserted. The River Nile played a vital role in the establishment of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Many of the historical sites we view today which date back to ancient times were all based on the development caused by the River Nile.
If we think of Egypt without the River Nile, it would only be a vast desert. In fact, the River Nile crosses Egypt from the South until it ends at the Mediterranean Sea in the North.
The ancient Egyptians worshiped the River Nile and named one of their gods for its water flood. The god was called Hapi. He used to be portrayed in many Pharaonic establishments holding flowers, chicken, fish, vegetables, and fruits that symbolize the many merits the River Nile gave to Egypt.
The flood of the River Nile was a crucial element in the lives of the ancient Egyptians. They used to regulate and organize everything in their lives according to it. The Pharaohs used the water of the Nile for cultivating their lands. This resulted in stability and represented a major element in the development of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
The flood of the River Nile was where the Pharaohs learned about the calculation of days, seasons, how they adapted with their surroundings, and how to deal with the flood and get the best out of it. The ancient Egyptian civilization, in all its stages, considered the River Nile the symbol of life and merits for their country. It was forbidden to pollute or misuse the water of the Nile.
The ancient Egyptian civilization mainly depended on the cultivation of the lands located on the west and east banks of the Nile, which were irrigated, by the water of the river. This is the reason why the flood of the River Nile played a vital role in the lives of the Pharaohs and shaped many aspects of their lives. The word Nile is actually derived from the Greek word “Neilos”, a word that was used to refer to Egypt in the ancient world.
The Pharaohs, due to their recognition of the importance of the River Nile, built a brilliant tool to measure the level of the water in the river. In fact, the Nilometer is one of the most magnificent inventions of the ancient Egyptians.
The Pharaohs also used the River Nile for transportation means. This of course applies to Egypt until today. Ancient Egyptians used boats that sail down the Nile to transfer the materials they used in various contractions, from different regions around Egypt.
Moreover, in various periods of the Egyptian history, kings and rulers from different dynasties contributed to the development of many projects that made the best usage of the water of the River Nile in cultivation. It began with the Pharaohs that dig canals to transfer water to many diverse regions around Egypt and some of the most ancient dams, ending with the construction of the High Dam during the ruling period of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the former Egyptian president.