Geography of Ancient
Ancient Egypt was divided into two
realms: Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.
Inside Lower Egypt, (the northern part), the Nile River's
delta empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to the New
Kingdom (before about 1570 B.C.), the area was sparsely settled
and used as a grazing area for cattle. Upper Egypt, (the
southern part), was the long, narrow strip of land located
south of the Delta. At the time, it represented roughly 3
percent of the land and supported nearly 100 percent of the
Ancient Egypt's boundaries were the Mediterranean Sea to the
north and Elephantine (now Aswan) to the south. Its east-west
boundaries were in the high desert on either side of the narrow
strip of Nile valley and low desert. The Nile River runs the
length of the country flowing south to north. The regions
topography consisted of:
- the Nile River
- the floodplain
- the low desert
- the high desert
Ancient Egypt, during the historic periods, was divided into
separate provinces called "Separt." (The Greeks called them
Nomes). There were a total of 42 Separts. 20 in lower Egypt and
22 in Upper Egypt. Each Separt had its own protective
the Nile River:
- The Nile is the longest river in the
world stretching over 1250km, (775 mi) within the
borders of Egypt.
- It flows from South to North and into the Mediterranean
- The annual flooding, called the Inundation, was created
by the "rainy season." It brought waters and soils from
Uganda and Ethiopia. Two sources of the Nile.
- In ancient times, this flooding created a strip of
fertile land that was only ever between 1 and 21km (.6 - 13
mi) wide along the Valley of the Nile.
- The final 160km (100 mi) of the Nile becomes the delta.
The delta fans out into many smaller rivers and is 240km
(150 mi) broad at its widest point.
- The ancient Egyptians considered the Niles first
cataract or waterfall as the beginning of the world.
and Timeline of Ancient Egypt:
The ancient Egyptians marked time with Solar days and Lunar
- Each Solar day had 24 hours. Twelve hours devoted to
light and twelve hours devoted to darkness.
- There were ten Solar days in each week and three weeks
in each Lunar month.
- There were twelve Lunar months in a year making a cycle
of 360 days.
- To make to Lunar and Solar calendars line up, 5 days
were added that were outside of the normal months giving
the year 365 days.
(The Egyptians did not account for the extra ¼ day each
year. Instead, there was a cycle of 1460 years when their
calendars would align with the seasons).
- Prehistoric and Predynastic Periods (pre-3100
- Early Dynastic Period (3100 B.C.E. – 2700 B.C.E.)
- Old Kingdom (2700 B.C.E. – 2184 B.C.E.)
- First Intermediate Period (2184 B.C.E. – 2040
- The Middle Kingdom (2040 B.C.E. – 1782 B.C.E.)
- Second Intermediate Period (1782 B.C.E. – 1570
- New Kingdom (1570 B.C.E. – 1070 B.C.E.)
- Third Intermediate Period (1070 B.C.E. – 747
- Late Period (747 B.C.E. – 332 B.C.E.)
- Graeco-Roman Period (332 B.C.E. – C.E. 395)
- Byzantine Period (C.E. 395 - C.E. 641)