GKE 1 task 1

Essay by tangreen28College, Undergraduate November 2014

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GKE 1 ­ Task 1

June 17, 2014

Geography and the Development of Human Civilization

A. Without argument, the most significant geographic or environmental factor of Ancient

Egypt to shape early civilization is the Nile River. The Nile has been referred to as life's blood

for the Egyptian civilization. (Fassbender, 2008). To begin understanding how the Nile River

was the greatest factor, one must understand a few facts about the River itself. It starts from two

separate sources; first the lakes of central Africa, called the White Nile, and second the Blue

Nile; that comes from the mountains of Ethiopia. The Blue Nile and the White Nile come

together and flow northward to the Nile delta, starting the 4,000 mile length of the life blood of

Egypt; finally spilling into the Mediterranean Sea. The Egyptian climate does not offer much in

rainfall, averaging less than 2 inches per year in some areas and non existent in other areas. The

early human civilizations were able to farm near the banks of the Nile River with much success

compared to the outlying harsh climates of the Sahara and Arabian deserts on both sides of

Egypt. Each summer the Nile River would swell as the rain fell and the snow melted in the

mountains. Overflowing its banks and lightly flooding the land with fresh water and thick rich

deposits of alluvial soil created a land that could "yield two harvests before winter" (Kreis,

2006); creating an ideal location for early human civilizations to settle and prosper.

This flooding of the Nile River did more than create agriculture wealth for the early

Egyptians, it also helped create some very early inventions such as the calendar; (Keita, n.d.)

created from the expected annual nature of the floods, the end of the...