Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Satellite photo of the Nile, NASA
Uploaded by en:User:Dbachmann
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

About 5,000 years ago, a remarkable civilization, grew up along the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. It flourished for over 3,000 years, longer than most other civilizations in the world's history. No other civilization in the time of the pharaohs could compete with Egypt's magnificent buildings, its wealth, or its long centuries of peace. To a large extent, this is because other civilizations did not have Egypt's main advantage , its great Nile River. (Copyright © 1999 - 2004 2travel2egypt.com)
The ancient Egyptians called the river Ar or Aur, meaning "black," because of the black sediment left behind after the frequent river floods. The ancient Greeks called the river Kem, which translates into "black" as well. But it is as Nile that we know this river today. Nile comes from the Greek Neilos, which means "river valley." The entire Nile River Delta is estimated to drain an area of 1,293,000 square miles. This area is so vast that is has a number of different climate areas. North, in Egypt and Sudan, rainfall is sparse. More to the south, in and around Ethiopia, rainfall is heavy, contributing to the floodwaters that rush downstream and eventually create the wonderfully fertile soil that supports so much of life in Egypt and Sudan.
(From socialstudiesforkids.com)
The Nile and its tributaries flow though nine countries. The White Nile flows though Uganda, Sudan, and Egypt. The Blue Nile starts in Ethiopia. Zaire, Kenya, Tanzanian, Rwanda, and Burundi all have tributaries, which flow into the Nile or into lake Victoria Nyanes. The major dams on the Nile are Roseires Dam, Sennar Dam, Aswan High Dam, and Owen Falls Dam. The river just flows down hill, from the high mountains in the middle of Africa to the Nile delta (point where Nile enters the Mediterranean Sea).
(From mbarron.net)
The Nile (iteru in Ancient Egyptian) was the lifeline of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with most of the population and all of the cities of Egypt resting along those parts of the Nile valley lying north of Aswan. The Nile has been the lifeline for Egyptian culture since the Stone Age. Climate change, or perhaps overgrazing, desiccated the pastoral lands of Egypt to form the Sahara desert, possibly as long ago as 8000 BC, and the inhabitants then presumably migrated to the river, where they developed a settled agricultural economy and a more centralized society.
The river Nile froze twice in recorded history, in 829 and 1010.

The Rosetta Stone, found in the Nile Delta in 1799
British Museum
Source: self-made
Author: Matija Podhraški, December 2003

People have lived in the Nile Delta region for thousands of years, and have been intensively farming for at least five thousand years. The Nile River used to be flooded on an annual basis, but this ended with the construction of the Aswan Dam.

Aswan Dam by Benjamin Franck
Picture taken on nov 2005
Source Transfered from en.wikipedia
Date 2007-02-02 (original upload date)
Author Original uploader was PtitBen at en.wikipedia

The present Nile is at least the fifth river that has flowed north from the Ethiopian Highlands. Satellite imagery was used to identify dry watercourses in the desert to the west of the Nile. An Eonile canyon, now filled by surface drift, represents an ancestral Nile called the Eonile that flowed during the later Miocene (23–5.3 million years before the present). The Eonile transported clastic sediments to the Mediterranean, where several gas fields have been discovered within these sediments.

Nile River and delta from orbit
The Nile River and delta as seen from space
By MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
Source http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=4927
Date February 5, 2003
Author: Jacques Descloitres
MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Against the barren desert of northeastern Africa, the fertile valley of the Nile River runs northward through Egypt. In the higher-resolution images, the city of Cairo can be seen as a gray smudge right where the river widens into its broad fan-shaped delta. Other cities are dotted across the green landscape, giving it a speckled appearance. Where the Nile empties into the Mediterranean Sea (top) the waters are swirling with color, likely a mixture of sediment, organic matter, and possibly marine plant life. Farther west, the bright blue color of the water is likely less-organically rich sediment, perhaps sand. East of the delta lies the arid Sinai Peninsula, whose pointed tip is home to rugged mountains, some as high as 8,600 feet. The lattice work of pale lines marks the paths of ephemeral rivers. The Sinai Peninsula intrudes into the Red Sea. Farther east are Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. At top right is the disputed territory of the West Bank. In the false-color image, vegetation is bright green, water is dark blue or black, and clouds are light blue. It's interesting to notice that places that seem essentially arid, or desert-like in the true-color image in fact have a delicate layer of vegetation. For example, the central Sinai Peninsula, and most of Israel have a faint greenish tinge in the false-color images."

Landsat 7 false colour image of the Nile Delta
Source Captured and cropped from NASA World Wind.
Date 17 September 2006
Author NASA

During the late-Miocene Messinian Salinity Crisis, when the Mediterranean Sea was a closed basin and evaporated empty or nearly so, the Nile cut its course down to the new base level until it was several hundred feet below world ocean level at Aswan and 8,000 feet (2,400 m) below Cairo. This huge canyon is now full of later sediment.
Lake Tanganyika drained northwards into the Nile until the Virunga Volcanoes blocked its course in Rwanda. That would have made the Nile much longer, with its longest headwaters in northern Zambia.
Egypt was the gift of the Nile, and in a sense that is correct. Without the waters of the Nile River for irrigation, Egyptian civilization would probably have been short-lived. The Nile provided the elements that make a vigorous civilization, and contributed much to its lasting three thousand years.

View from Cairo Tower
The Nile passes through Cairo, Egypt's capital city
Source Transferred from en.wikipedia
Date 2007-03-31 (first version); 2007-12-02 (last version)
Author: Original uploader: Raduasandei at en.wikipedia
Later version(s) uploaded by Arad at en.wikipedia.
(Original text : Asandei Radu March 30th 2007)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vegetation along the Nile
The river next to the big city (called: Beni Suef)
right side at the bottom of the picture.
Date 18th Juny 2003 "12:38"
Author Marcell Katona (Katonams)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nile
Source: own work
Author Jerzy Strzelecki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of the Blue Nile
Adapted from Image:Niloazul.jpg on Commons
Source Image:Niloazul.jpg
Date July 2004, recaptioned 2008-05-08
Author Nicolás Pérez
originally on es: Wikipedia

The White Nile Expedition, led by South African national Hendri Coetzee, became the first to navigate the Nile's entire length. The expedition took off from the source of the Nile in Uganda on January 17, 2004 and arrived safely at the Mediterranean in Rosetta, 4 months and 2 weeks later. National Geographic released a feature film about the expedition towards in late 2005 entitled The Longest River.
On April 28, 2004, geologist Pasquale Scaturro of Colorado and his partner, kayaker and documentary filmmaker Gordon Brown of California became the first people to navigate the Blue Nile, from Lake Tana in Ethiopia to the beaches of Alexandria on the Mediterranean. Though their expedition included a number of others, Brown and Scaturro were the only ones to remain on the expedition for the their epic 3,250-mile journey. This historic four-month expedition is sponsored by giant screen film production company MacGillivray Freeman Films (Everest) and Orbita Max of Spain. They chronicled their adventure with an IMAX camera and two handheld video cams, sharing their story in the IMAX film "Mystery of the Nile", and in a book of the same title. The team was forced to use outboard motors for most of their journey, and it was not until January 29, 2005 when Canadian Les Jickling and New Zealander Mark Tanner reached the Mediterranean Sea, that the river had been paddled for the first time under human power.

Two Americans First in History to Complete Full Descent of Nile River ...
(Copyright © 1996-2008 PR Newswire Association LLC.)

The Blue Nile Falls fed by Lake Tana,
near the city of Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
Also known as Tis Issat Falls after the name of the nearby village
Source Original Photograph
Date January 2002
Author Jialiang Gao www.peace-on-earth.org
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A team led by South Africans Peter Meredith and Hendri Coetzee on 30 April 2005, became the first to navigate the most remote headstream, the remote source of the Nile, the Akagera river, which starts as the Rukarara in Nyungwe forest in Rwanda.
On March 31, 2006, three explorers from Britain and New Zealand lead by Neil McGrigor claimed to have been the first to travel the river from its mouth to a new "true source" deep in Rwanda's Nyungwe rainforest.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

WikiProject Geographical coordinates

Where is the Nileand Why is it Important
Nile Components:
The Egyptian Nile
The Cataracts of the Nile
The Blue Nile
The White NileLake Victoria & the Victoria Nile
Lake Edward & the Semliki River
Lake Albert & the Albert Nile
The Sudd
The Geology of the Nile
The Hydrology of the Nile
Nile Maps and Images
(From UTD The River Nile Homepage)

Essay: The Inscrutable Nile at the Beginning of the New Millennium
by Robert O. Collins
Professor of History, Emeritus, University of California Santa Barbara
(From history.ucsb.edu)

Link to Google Maps to see the Nile
(From maps.google.com)

Cities of the Dead, Nile River Delta, Egypt
Astronaut photograph ISS018-E-6540
Acquired on October 31, 2008
Posted December 1, 2008
Nikon D2Xs digital camera (800 mm lens)
By the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment
& Image Science & Analysis Laboratory
Johnson Space Center.
Webmaster: Goran Halusa
NASA official: Lorraine Remer

The above image was taken by the Expedition 18 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet.
The ancient pharaohs (kings) and queens of Egypt established several royal cemeteries, along the Nile River valley. On the western riverbank, these necropoli (cities of the dead) were built on a gravelly desert plateau formed of limestone and clay overlooking the river. Several scarps (cliffs) are visible at image lower left. The most widely recognized features of royal Egyptian necropoli are pyramids, which frequently served as both tombs and monuments for their occupants. This detailed astronaut photograph illustrates a portion of the Nile Delta that includes two royal cemetery complexes, Abusir and Saqqara-North.
The present day village of Abusir is clearly visible as a grey-white irregular patch of urban surfaces that contrasts with green agricultural fields of the Nile Delta and tan desert sands and gravels to the west. The historic necropolis of Abusir is located to the northwest of the village at image top center. Three pyramids are readily visible in the image, all built by kings of the Fifth Dynasty (2,465–2,323 BC): Sahure, Niuserre, and Neferirkare. The site of Abusir was likely chosen due to the existence of a lake—now dry—that facilitated transport of building materials for the pyramids and other structures.
The northern portion of the large necropolis of Saqqara is also visible to the south-southwest (image right) of the village of Abusir. The largest pyramid in this complex is that of Djoser, a king of the Third Dynasty (2,650–2,575 BC). Other readily visible pyramids include that of Userkaf (Fifth Dynasty) and Teti (Sixth Dynasty: 2,323–2,150 BC), attesting to the long history of use of the Saqqara necropolis. Astronauts have also taken detailed imagery of other necropolis sites along the Nile River delta such as Giza and Dashur.
- Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.
(From earthobservatory.nasa.gov)

Explorers On The Nile:
1769: James Bruce. Reached the source of the Blue branch of Nile in November 1770.
1857: Richard Burton and John Speke. Reached Lake Tanganyika in February 1858. Speke travelled on and reached Victoria Nyanza in March 1858.
1860: John Speke and James Grant. Reached Victoria Nyanza in July 1862 and discovered and named the Ripon Falls. Travelled down the White Nile to Gondokoro in southern Sudan.
1861: Samuel and Florence White Baker. Travelled up the Nile and met Speke and Grant at Gondokoro in February 1865. Discovered and named Lake Albert.
1874: Henry Morton Stanley. Sailed round Victoria Nyanza in April 1875 and confirmed that the Nile's outlet was at the Ripon Falls.
(From egyptattraction.com)

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