Without the Nile, Egypt would not be here. There would not be any water or fertile land to grow food. The Nile is not just the longest river in the world, no one could live in Egypt without the Nile.
Living from the Land
Egyptian farmers planted grains, beans, and vegetables in the moist soil along the edge of the Nile. Crops grew quickly there. The fresh dirt carried by the Nile every year was like a fertilizer. Farmers dug ditches to spread the floods as far as possible and to keep a steady water supply to their farms. Once the flood was over, they built machines to raise water from the land and carry it to their fields, because the Nile’s water made farming possible to people in Egypt.
The Nile Flood
Once a year, between July and October, the rains came and overflow the river banks causing the yearly flood of the Nile. Most ancient settlements were located on high ground and most farming occurred down by the Nile. In this way the floods would help them grow crops while not flooding their homes. Once the Aswan Dam was built in 1968, the Nile would no longer flood.
Hunting and Fishing
The Nile also was a source of food for the people of Egypt. The river was filled with fish and Egyptians ate many kinds of them. Villagers also went hunting for birds in the marshes and speared fish from boats or trapped them in nets. Sometimes they went to kill a crocodile or hippopotamus to eat.
Creatures of the Nile
The Nile River is a home to a variety of animals from tiny water snails to massive crocodiles. Most are harmless, but a few are very dangerous to people using the river. Mummies have been found with bones that seem to have been bitten by crocodiles. A hippopotamus could also attack people.