Ancient agriculture in the Nile Valley

Ancient agriculture in the Nile Valley

Ancient Egypt was called the ‘gift of the Nile’, since the river played an important role in the rise of Egyptian civilisation.

History

Keywords

Nile, agriculture, Gift of the Nile, intensive farming, irrigation agriculture, irrigation system, water-lifting device, shadoof, antiquity, crop, lifestyle, Africa, Egypt, flood, channel, co-operation, calendar, communities

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Questions

  • Which ancient state is often called the ‘gift of the Nile’?
  • How long is the Nile?
  • What was the ancient Egyptian name of the Nile?
  • Which language does the name ‘Nile’ originate from?
  • What does the word Nile (Neilos) mean?
  • In which sea/ocean does the Nile flow into?
  • What type of mouth does the river Nile have?
  • Which animal is not typically found in the Nile Valley?
  • What was ancient Egypt called by its inhabitants?
  • What does the word ‘Kemet’ mean?
  • Who described Egypt as the\n‘gift of the Nile’?
  • What is another word for the counterpoise-lift?
  • Why was the flooding of the Nile important in ancient Egypt?
  • In which month of each year did the Nile flood?
  • What ‘gift’ did the flooding Nile bring to the Egyptians?
  • Is it true that ancient Egyptians made large areas along the Nile fertile by using an advanced irrigation system?
  • What structures were not built by ancient Egyptians?
  • What was the prerequisite of establishing irrigation agriculture?
  • What was the width of the alluvial deposit on the banks of the Nile?
  • What signifies the importance of the day of the flood?
  • Whose task was it to make calendars in ancient Egypt?
  • Is it true that ancient Egyptians used a lunar calendar to plan agricultural activities?
  • How many seasons was the ancient Egyptian calendar divided into?
  • Which of these terms was not one of the seasons of the Egyptian calendar?
  • What put an end to the annual flooding of the Nile?
  • Which plant was not grown in Ancient Egypt?
  • What did ancient Egyptians use to prepare the soil for sowing?
  • How did ancient Egyptians put seeds deeper into the soil to aid germination?

Scenes

Nile Valley

  • Nile
  • flood plain
  • canal
  • cultivated area
  • settlement

Before the flood

  • Nile
  • flood plain
  • canal
  • cultivated area
  • settlement

Flood

  • Nile
  • flood plain
  • canal
  • cultivated area
  • settlement

Draining

  • Nile
  • flood plain
  • canal
  • cultivated area
  • settlement
  • deposited mud

Agriculture

  • Nile
  • flood plain
  • canal
  • cultivated area
  • settlement

Irrigation system

  • irrigation canal
  • counterpoise-lift (shadoof)

Animation

Narration

The Nile is the longest and among the best known rivers in the world. It played an important role in Egyptian culture in prehistoric times. In Ancient times, the river was called ‘Hapi,’ after the god of fertility and rebirth. The name Nile originates from the Greek word ‘Neilos,’ meaning ‘river valley.’

Egypt is often called the ‘gift of the Nile,’ as the life of Egyptians depended on the river. It flooded annually, around 19 July, leaving fertile mud deposits on the surrounding land. This event was so important that the day of the flood became the first day of the Egyptian calendar.

The ancient Egyptian name of the country was Kemet, meaning ‘black land,’ from the rich dark mud. As the river flooded, Egyptians attempted to keep the water on the lands by building dams and canals, so that the mud could be completely deposited.

Using an advanced irrigation system, they made large areas along the Nile fertile. Lands were divided into parcels by ditches, these parcels were watered from canals with water-lifting devices. The construction of canals and dams and the operation of irrigation systems required co-operation and a high level of organisation within the settlements and thus played a great role in creating the ancient Egyptian state.

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