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Egypt Section 1

Geography & Early History

QuestionAnswer
What are cataracts? Rapids along a river, such as those along the Nile in Egypt
What is a delta? A triangle-shaped area of land made from soil deposited by a river
What is a dynasty? A series of rulers from the same family
Who was Menes? Pharaoh that united Upper & Lower Egypt. He was Egypt's first pharaoh and founded Egypt's first dynasty, which lasted 200 years
What is a pharaoh and what does it mean? The title used by the rulers of Egypt, it means "great house"
How long is the Nile River? 4,160 miles long
What is a nileometer? A set of stairs used to measure flood waters along the Nile River
What is a shadoof? A bucket-lifter used for irrigation along the Nile River
Where is Upper Egypt located? The southern part of Egypt, up in the mountains
Where is Lower Egypt located? The northern part of Egypt, by the Mediterranean Sea
Describe the geography of ancient Egypt. The Nile River starts in the mountains and flows north to the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded on both sides by a narrow strip of fertile land from the annual floods and a wide fertile delta at the mouth of the river. It is surrounded by dry desert on both sides and the Red Sea to the east.
Which city was the capital during Menes rule? The capital city was Memphis.
Why was Egypt called the "Gift of the Nile"? Without the "gift" of flooding that provided rich soul for crops, civilization could not have developed in Egypt.
How did Nile River floods differ from the floods of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia? The Nile River floods were easier to predict and less violent than the floods along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
Describe the "black land" and the "red land". The Egyptians called the dark fertile soil along the Nile the "black land" because the silt made it ideal for farming. They called the dry, lifeless desert surrounding the Nile Valley the "red land".
Why was sailing the southern part of the Nile River difficult? How did this hurt and help Egypt? Cataracts, strong rapids, in Upper Egypt made it almost impossible to take boats on that part of the Nile. This hurt Eggypt by making trade and travel difficult between Lower and Upper Egypt. However, this also helped Egypt by providing some protection from invaders.
When did the annual floods occur in Upper and Lower Egypt? The floods started in Upper Egypt in midsummer (July) and progressed to Lower Egypt by the fall (October).
Why was the Nile delta well suited for settlement? It provided two-thirds of Egypt's fertile farmland and abundant wildlife, as well as access to the sea.
What foods did the Egyptians eat? What role did the Nile play in supplying Egyptians with these foods? The Egyptians ate wheat, vegetables, berries, fruits, nuts, and meat. The Nile provided water for the crops and animals, and homes for the fish, wild geese, and ducks.
How was Egypt protected from invasion in all directions? North-Mediterranean Sea South- Mountains and cataracts on the Nile River East- Desert West- Desert
Why did Menes wear the double crown? He wore the double crown to signify the unification of Upper Egypt (white crown) and Lower Egypt (red crown) into one kingdom.