Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Water, Egypt, River, Civilization, World, Middle East, Nile River, Development

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/11

Politically centralized civilizations, more than 5000 years ago, began crystallizing along various river valleys throughout northern Africa and the southern half of Asia. These civilizations are what led to subsequent steps in the organization and the eventual centralization of human political, economic, social institutions, and religious practices. Early African civilizations of Egypt and Nubia occurred in the Nile Valley. The Nile Valley comprises the extensive region that surrounds Africa’s Nile River, including the watershed and adjoining areas.
The Nile was crucial for the development of both Egyptian and Nubian civilizations because it provided a source of water that was immensely reliable, therefore linking these two civilizations to both the Mediterranean Sea and sub-Saharan Africa. The Nile flooded every season due the high tropical rains registered in the deep hinterlands of the African continent. The Nile flows from the south to the north and along with it; it carried the rain waters to the north. Upon reaching the Nile Delta, it flooded depositing thin layers of rich topsoil on the land’s surface every year.
The Egyptian civilization was centered on this annual flooding. The rich topsoil deposited was moist and very fertile enabling the farmers to grow their crops and register bumper harvests including surplus produce for sale. The excess agricultural production was extremely necessary for the growth and the eventual development of a civilization. The surplus could be sold to neighboring communities to earn the Egyptian civilization an income. Essentially, the Nile Rivers gave Egypt prosperity, causing its economy to be stable.
Additionally, the Nile River provided transportation means. The ancient Egypt comprised a narrow strip of land, about 700 miles long. The civilization was also a few miles wide. Due to this, the Nile River became the factor that united Egypt into a single kingdom enabling the people to stay close to each other.
Moreover, the river provided the most excellent means of transportation between the South and the North. The transport function was made possible due the calmness of the river making it easy to navigate.
The navigation was much easier at the Delta. On the upstream parts of the river, the river had a series of cataracts which made it completely un-navigable. This was important to Egyptian civilization because the un-navigable sections protected it from direct invasions from enemies of the kingdom living in the upstream parts. The desert on each side of the civilization, and the cataracts on the upstream section meant that Egypt was only exposed to an invasion danger on the Mediterranean side. Due to this, Egyptians smarted outside influences, including immigration of people into the kingdom. Therefore, the Egyptians were able to develop their civilization and culture peacefully for many years. The small-scale occasional influences and invasions failed to affect the crucial nature of Egyptian civilization.
Further afield on the south, there was another civilization called the Nubian. This civilization developed along the banks of River Nile. The floodplains that spread along the Nubian Nile were less extensive compared to those in Egypt. To get water to utilize in their agriculture, the Nubians diverted water from the Nile and used it for irrigating their prepared fields. These different geographic buffers and agricultural practices were immensely successful, and hence the two civilizations saw a population explosion. This occurrence forced them to be innovative and come up with more sophisticated agricultural methods. The methods included building of dykes to protect fields from the annual floods. Catch basins were developed to be used as water reservoirs in times of occurrence of floods. This water could find use in the hot and dry seasons.
In addition to the preceding, the Nile River enabled growth of papyrus reeds along its banks. These papyrus reeds were used for various functions including the making of boats and the manufacture of ropes. The boats caulked from reeds were used in traveling along the river. The reeds harvested from the banks of River Nile absorbed water easily thus making it possible for them to be used in making papyrus; a paper-like material used for writing purposes. Writing on papyrus enabled the Egyptian civilization to develop extensive political and trading systems. Writing was utilized as a basis for record keeping for all the merchant dealings within the civilization. The advent of papyrus played a crucial role in developing new forms of political and economic organization, and it also extended the geographical coverage of the civilization. All these were made possible due to the availability of papyrus on the banks of the Nile River and the discovery of how the reeds could be turned into papyrus scrolls. A point of note is that only a minority of people could master writing skills and this minority of people mainly comprised priests, few merchants, and scribes. The developed writing skills enabled the people to engage in religion, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and other developments in agriculture. The simple papyrus reeds growing on the banks of River Nile gave birth to a new phenomenon: the knowledge economy.
Therefore, this society was among the pioneers of science and philosophy, enabling the creation of prosperous states in the North of Africa. As many societies remained illiterate, the Egyptian civilization was creating new knowledge necessary to catapult it to many innovations and economic success.
Moreover, the preservation of thousands of papyrus scrolls and monuments was made possible due to the dry climate in the region. High humidity could have caused quick deterioration of the papyrus scrolls something Egypt was saved from due to its dry climate. The possibility to preserve pyramid for extended periods of time in Egypt saw the discovery of some ancient copies of the Bible in Egypt.
Additionally, the Nile River determined all real estate values in the Egyptian civilization. The value of land was determined by how close the land was to the Nile, and whether it was flooded annually or not. The annual floods and incessant use of land for large-scale farming along the banks of the river heightened the importance of boundaries and property rights. Land surveying was a career that was born so that land tussles could be contained. Land surveyors were crucial for purposes of assessing land for tax payment purposes and enforcing legal land ownership. Land surveyors used ropes to demarcate the land squarely using a method referred to as rope stretching. This method eventually spread in the entire world. Therefore, the enormous potential of land in the Nile Delta and along the banks led to the emergence of a concept called real estate. Those owning land in this region paid land rates and taxes that were transmitted to the political leadership for their eventual use in running the Kingdom. Real estate phenomenon was cropping up in the fields of the Nile Delta also played a significant role in furthering of the Land surveying profession that contributed to the development of the states in North Africa.
Over the years, Egypt and Sudan have extremely depended on the waters of the Nile River. During the past century, the two countries have built several reservoirs and dams on this river with a hope of limiting the ravages of floods and droughts that are a constant part of their histories. Millions of people in these two countries owe their very existence and livelihoods to the waters of the Nile River. All the civilization in Egypt and Sudan has its origin from the waters of the Nile. This has made it possible for the two countries to achieve food security, build their monuments, and expand their water transportation. These many benefits of the Nile River waters to the states of Egypt and Sudan ultimately confirms the importance of the river in the rise of successful states in North Africa.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 11) Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay. Retrieved August 14, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/
"Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay." WePapers, 11 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/. Accessed 14 August 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay., viewed August 14 2022, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/>
WePapers. Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed August 14, 2022]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/
"Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay." WePapers, Dec 11, 2020. Accessed August 14, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/
WePapers. 2020. "Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved August 14, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/).
"Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 11-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/. [Accessed: 14-Aug-2022].
Example Of African Civilization: Nile River Essay. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-african-civilization-nile-river-essay/. Published Dec 11, 2020. Accessed August 14, 2022.
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