Gifts of the Nile Illustration

Ancient Egypt for Kids
Gifts of the Nile


Ancient Egypt had many natural barriers. The Nile River ran down the middle, but there deserts to the east and west of the Nile River. There were mountains to the south, separating Egypt from the rest of Africa. The Nile ended at the Mediterranean Sea, so you could reach Egypt. They did not live in isolation. The early Greeks tried to establish outposts in Egypt, but the Egyptians chased them away. They were not alone in the ancient world. They knew that. But still, there many natural barriers helped them to develop a culture uniquely Egyptian.

The Nile is the longest river in the world. It is shaped like a lotus flower, the design seen in ancient Egyptian art, math, and hieroglyphics. It runs south to north, beginning in the mountains in the south and ending 4,000 miles later at the Mediterranean Sea.

Each spring, snow on the mountains would melt. The Nile River would flood. This was a very good thing. When the flood waters receded, they left behind fertile soil. Crops could easily be grown in this black, rich soil. The ancient Egyptians called this soil the "The Gift of the Nile".

The Nile provided other gifts to the ancient Egyptians. Papyrus, used for everything, grew wildly along its banks. It provided water for cooking and bathing. Fish and waterfowl were plentiful. Wild vegetables could be found, along with bird eggs. Egypt is located in the middle of a desert. But life along the Nile was splendid.

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