| As the
Greek historian Herodotus once said, ” Egypt is a gift of the Nile.”
The Nile usually rises in September or October. Until the modern
irrigation systems were built the Nile was their only source of irrigation.
Farmers looked forward to the yearly flood. They set huge basins
along the banks of the Nile so that the over flowing water would spill
into them. When the Nile flooded and the water went down it left
a layer of fertile soil. In those days it was good if there
was a bad flood and it was bad if they had a minor flood. Houses
were up high so that the flood would not wash them away. But sometimes
it rose unusually high and swept the houses away uncontrollably.
If it wasn't for the Nile Egypt would be a desert.
The Nile flows up stream instead of down stream to the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is in East Africa. In the spring when the snow melts and the rains come down, it rises and spreads over the land that surrounds it causing a flood. The flood brought bits of soil down stream and made the water look terribly unclean. On the brighter side the bits of soil other wise known a silt left a layer of fertile soil on the land which had been flooded. When the river emptied the silt in to the sea it created a delta. But when the layer of fertile soil was left it was very good for farming they would scatter seed and then run goats over it to push seed into the soil. They built dams to keep the water from flooding the fields but when they needed water they let out some water. This was their irrigating system. The Egyptian farmers were able to harvest a surplus of crops just because of that great river we know as “ The Nile.”