Why was the Nile important to ancient Egyptians?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Nile was very important to the people of Ancient Egypt because it essentially made their economy possible.  It allowed them to do agriculture and to engage in trade.

Like all ancient people, the Ancient Egyptians relied on agriculture for most of their economy.  The Nile made agriculture possible in Egypt.  Every year, the river flooded.  When the floods receded, they left layers of silt on the areas that had been flooded.  This silt helped make the land fertile, allowing the Egyptians to grow enough crops near the Nile to feed everyone.  In other parts of Egypt not flooded by the Nile, the land was not fertile enough for agriculture.  The Nile, then, was necessary for Egyptian agriculture.

The Egyptians also used the Nile for other things.  It was a source of papyrus that they used to make paper, boats, and other things.  It was a source for fish and for waterfowl.  It also made it easier for them to trade both within Egypt and with other countries.  The Egyptians could ship goods up and down the Nile, allowing them to be moved easily from place to place.  This made trade easier and helped the Egyptian economy.  In these ways, the Nile made the Ancient Egyptian economy possible.

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