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Section 1: The Nile Valley

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1 Section 1: The Nile Valley
Chapter 2 Ancient Egypt Section 1: The Nile Valley

2 Settling the Nile Between 6000 B.C. and 5000 B.C., hunters and gatherers moved into the green Nile River Valley from less fertile areas of Africa and Southwest Asia. These people are the earliest Egyptians.


4 A Mighty River Egypt was warm & sunny, but received little rainfall.
For water, the Egyptians had to rely on the Nile River.

5 A Mighty River The Nile is the world’s longest river, flowing north from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. It is 4,000 miles long. Ships can only use the last 650 miles of the Nile because of the cataracts.

6 A Mighty River

7 A Sheltered Land In Egypt, the Nile runs through a narrow, green valley. When the Nile gets close to the Mediterranean Sea, it divides into different branches which makes up a delta.

8 A Sheltered Land

9 A Sheltered Land On both sides of the Nile there are deserts as far as the eye can see. On the west is the Sahara, the largest desert in the world. The ancients called the deserts the “Red Land” because of their burning heat.

10 A Sheltered Land

11 A Sheltered Land Egypt’s geographic features help protect them from invasions: Deserts on both sides Nile’s cataracts on the South Nile’s delta marshes offered no harbors

12 A Sheltered Land Egypt rarely faced threats of invasion, therefore, it was able to grow and prosper. They were isolated, but not entirely closed off. The Mediterranean & Red Sea allowed the Egyptians to trade with other people.

13 A Sheltered Land People used the Nile for trade and transportation.
Egyptians villages had frequent, friendly contact with one another, unlike the Mesopotamians.

14 A Sheltered Land

15 The River People – Regular Flooding
Like the Mesopotamians, the Egyptians had to cope with floods. They did not have to worry about sudden overflows. In the spring each year, the Nile would spill over its banks.

16 The River People – Regular Flooding
When the waters went down, they left behind a layer of dark, fertile mud. Because of these deposits, the Egyptians called their land Kemet, “the Black Land.”

17 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?
The Egyptians took advantage of the Nile’s floods to become successful farmers. One reason for their success was their wide use of irrigation.

18 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?
The farmers dug basins in the earth to trap the floodwaters. Then they dug canals to carry water from the basins to the fields beyond the river’s reach.

19 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?

20 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?
The Egyptians created a tool called a shadoof, a bucket attached to a long pole, to lift water from the Nile to the basins. Many Egyptian farmers still use this device today.

21 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?

22 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?
Early Egyptians also further developed geometry to help with boundary markers that divided fields. Papyrus is a reed plant that grows along the shores of the Nile.

23 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?

24 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?
At first they used papyrus to make baskets, sandals, and river rafts. Later, they used it for papermaking.

25 How did the Egyptians use the Nile?
The first step was to cut the stalks of the plant into narrow strips. Then they soaked the strips and pounded them flat. Left in the air to dry, the strips became stiff. They could then be joined to form a roll of paper.

26 What Were Hieroglyphics?
The Egyptians used their papyrus rolls for writing paper. They developed their own system of writing called hieroglyphics.

27 What Were Hieroglyphics?
Their hieroglyphics were made up of hundreds of picture symbols. Some symbols stood for ideas or objects.

28 What Were Hieroglyphics?

29 What Were Hieroglyphics?
Scribes did carve hieroglyphics onto stone walls & monuments. For everyday purposes they invented a simpler script & wrote on papyrus.

30 What Were Hieroglyphics?
In ancient Egypt, few people could read & write. The men could go to special schools to study reading & writing & learn how to become scribes. Scribes kept records & worked for the rulers, priests & traders.

31 A United Egypt Surpluses of food freed people to become artisans instead of farmers as in Mesopotamia. The wove cloth, made pottery, carved statues or shaped copper into weapons & tools.

32 A United Egypt As more goods became available, Egyptians traded with other cultures. Here they may have picked up ideas about writing and government.

33 The Rise of Government The advances in farming, craft & trade created a need for government. Disputes over land ownership had to be settled. The earliest rulers were village chiefs.

34 The Rise of Government Over time, a few strong chiefs would unite groups of villages into small kingdoms. The strongest of these kingdoms eventually over-powered the weaker ones.

35 The Rise of Government

36 The Rise of Government By 4,000 B.C., Egypt was made up of two large kingdoms. In the Nile delta there was Lower Egypt. To the south, lay Upper Egypt.

37 Egypt’s Ruling Families
About 3100 B.C., the two kingdoms became one. Credit for this goes to Narmer, also known as Menes. As king of Upper Egypt, he led his armies north and took control of Lower Egypt.

38 Egypt’s Ruling Families

39 Egypt’s Ruling Families
Narmer ruled from Memphis, a city that he built. His kingdom held together long after his death – family members passed the ruling power from father to son to grandson.

40 Egypt’s Ruling Families
Ancient Egypt would be ruled by 31 dynasties which lasted about 2,800 years. Historians group Egypt’s dynasties into 3 main time periods called kingdoms: Old Kingdom – earliest period Middle Kingdom New Kingdom

41 Traders, Artisans, shopkeepers, and scribes
Early Egyptian Life Pharoah Priests & Nobles Traders, Artisans, shopkeepers, and scribes Farmers & Herders Unskilled workers

42 Family Life Father was head of the family.
Egyptian women had more rights than other females in other civilizations. Could own property, buy & sell goods Upper-class women were in charge of temples and could perform religious ceremonies

43 Family Life Few families sent their children to school.
Mothers taught daughters to cook, sew and run a home. Boys learned trades from their fathers.

44 Family Life

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