What was the importance of the Nile River?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The importance of the Nile River was that it made the empire of Egypt possible.  Without the Nile, Egypt could not have supported any sort of major civilization.  The Nile made agriculture and trade possible on a large scale.  This supported Egypt’s civilization.

Most of the land of Egypt is not arable.  This is the part of Egypt that was called the “red land.”  It is made up of desert in which agriculture is simply not possible.  However, near to the Nile, and particularly in the Nile’s delta, there is an area of “black land” that was extremely fertile.  It was created by the yearly flooding of the Nile, which laid silt down over the area.  This area was where Egyptian agriculture could take place.  It allowed Egypt to produce the food needed to feed a large population.

In the ancient world, waterways were the most convenient way to trade.  Nothing heavy could be transported for very long distances over land.  The presence of the Nile allowed goods to flow into and out of Egypt both to the South and to the Mediterranean in the north.  This trade helped to build Egypt’s empire.

In these ways, the Nile was absolutely vital for the creation of Egyptian civilization and the Egyptian empire.

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