The Nile River is located in the continent of Africa, towards the north east. It is the world’s longest river and is considered as the backbone of the existence and culture of North African states. The River Nile inundated the Mesopotamian region and helped it to flourish otherwise it would only be a devastated area without the Nile River. Mesopotamia is used to signifying "the land between rivers." It included some part of the Middle East amid and about the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In present times, this land is located in Iraq for the most part. Other areas included in this area are Iran, Libya, Algeria, Syria and Turkey. Thus, it would not be incorrect to state that the African states in the north successfully arose due to the presence of the River Nile. About one-tenth of North African states that include Egypt, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Congo (Kinshasa), Burundi, and some other countries too. It is important to mention here that the waters of the River Nile support almost all crop growing in the Egypt’s most thickly-populated areas and irrigate almost all cash drops that are grown in Sudan. These waters are also used extensively for the purpose of navigation and generation of hydroelectricity.
Mesopotamia was one of the first sights of civilization driven from the Nile River. The renowned river’s waters have always encouraged development in the area. Before the construction of the Aswan High Dam, the Nile River was a major source that would inundate and set down fertile, excellent, grained and grimy deposits at the entire valley’s bottom from one corner to the other. It won’t be incorrect to state that the River Nile is a major artery of the North African states as its waters support survival and continuation of the people and their civilizations. In simple words, the Nile River is, without a doubt, the basis of existence for the majority of riparian civilizations. Riparian civilizations can be defined as those civilizations that live alongside the bank of a natural waterway such as a river, stream, lake, etc. The rise and development of the civilizations and states in North Africa have always depended on this impulsive, changeable provider. In the contemporary times, the technological innovations have provided human beings with the ability to hack the prospective and coercion of the River. Technology has also enabled the gradual development of it and the involvements of the Western hands have made it possible for the river to reach its best stage.
If seen from a historical perspective, the River Nile is the main reason Mesopotamia flourished in the past and exists in the modern times. It is unanimously acknowledged that the Nile River waters and the fertility it provided to the floodplain are the main factors behind the development of the Mesopotamian civilization and other Northern states in Africa. It is important to mention here that Nile was referred as the great river (Iteru) for a number of centuries. For several years, the Nile did not have a name.
Mesopotamia in the ancient times represented both extremes territorially as it represents the same in the modern age. The land was a landscape or aridity and barrenness. However, on the other hand, the area along the River Nile was extremely fertile. The waters used to reach peak levels during June and September as a result of rainfall and floods in some parts of Sudan and Ethiopia. This water in the Nile was helpful in productive agricultural yields. The annual inundation made it possible for the fertile soil layers to get deposited on the flood plain surface. This phenomenon was yearly. The Nile River was also a major water route used by the people to get from one place to another. On the other hands, the desert areas that were far from the River Nile had extreme hot and cold temperatures. In addition, the nomadic dwellers in the deserts did not have enough water resources which meant that the area was not suitable for any settlement. However, it is important to mention here that the desert was valuable in its own way as it financially supported the area by providing precious stones like turquoise, gold, amethyst, etc. Nevertheless, it was not a place that could support life and as a consequence, the Nile turned out to be the likable settlement for the people in the North Africa.
It is also important to note here that the political developments in the Mesopotamia and other North-African states were also affected by the River Nile and other territorial characteristics. The annual inundation of the River Nile was reasonably consistent. In addition, the Delta and the floodplain were also fertile in their own unique ways. Due to this feature, the agriculture in the Mesopotamia was considered as the most protected and fruitful in the area. This dependence on the Nile also enabled Ancient Africans to eliminate food scarcity by storing edible crops. Mesopotamia was a compact area with the River Nile as its central important source of solidity. This significant natural feature was favorable for the political units in the area. Such a political unity was significant in exploiting the potential of land and its fertility. The rulers were also evaluated on the basis of their measures for the development and safety of the waters of the Nile River. This is because the agricultural resources were under the control of the rulers as they were the owners of the lands. However, this control made it obligatory for them to discharge their duties responsibly to store and provide against any failed measures.
There were a number of other reasons why Northern African states arose successfully along the River Nile. One of the major reasons was the lining of Papyrus reeds along the banks of the River. The Papyrus stems were used by people of the ancient times for a variety of purposes as rope-manufacturing. The stems were also used for boat-caulking for travelling along the waters. People also used papyrus stems for making conventional boats for hunting. This was done by tying the stems together. Such boats did not have a long lifespan because the reeds got soaked in the water becoming water-logged resulting in the sinking of boats. This soaking ability, on the other hand, was very important as the papyrus plant could absorb water in abundance and consequently transform into a writing substance, just like paper. Such mentioned uses compelled people to settle along the river banks as the papyrus could be used for many purposes.
The River Nile also holds a significant place for giving rise to the successful Northern states as it was a major food source for the people. The land alongside the river was extremely fertile for agricultural purposes. The fish from the river was a principle food of the inhabitants living near the River Nile. As already mentioned, the River Nile was also the main channel of transportation of goods and people from one place to another. When historical texts are viewed, it is evident from the majority of sources that there were no road networks in Mesopotamia and other North-African states in the primitive times. Wheels, therefore, were not used by the ancient Africans. Instead, they preferred the usage of boats to travel from one place to another through the River Nile. Donkeys were used to travel on land. It is also important to note here that there were no bridges over the waters to cross them. People used boats to cross the rivers. The River Nile was dominated by the northern winds. Therefore, when people wanted to go towards south, they used sails. On the other hand, oars and currents were used together when people wanted to go towards the north. It can, therefore, be concluded that the River Nile was undoubtedly an important part for the Africans. The River helped to transport heavy loads easily and encouraged trade among different regions. This ease of transportation consequently improved the integration in the area. The regions along the River Nile were also protected from any outside interference and invasion.
The above analysis makes it crystal clear that the weather and land conditions in the Mesopotamia were not suitable for agriculture. The transport and infrastructure were also not developed efficiently. If the truth is told, the development of the ancient civilization and rise of North-African states was not possible without the River Nile. To cut a long story short, the North-African states exist today only because of the presence of the River Nile on the face of the Earth. There could be no settlement in the area if there were no river that provided much more than just water. It won’t be incorrect to state that the ancient African culture grew and developed because of the Nile as its first heartbeat. The world’s longest river empowered the North African region economically, geographically and economically. The Nile River taught man to control and exploit the influence and agricultural treasures of the world’s longest waterway.
According to the majority of travelers, the River Nile is inarguably the most important river in the world as it has surpassed the sweetness of taste, provision of opportunities and possibilities of settlements that are offered by all the other rivers in the world. It is the most significant watercourse that has enabled the largest number of town and village settlements along its fertile bank. Thus, the Nile was a major influencing force that made it possible for the North African states to exploit natural resources along the river banks and use them to improve their social, political and economic conditions accordingly. The above analysis does not make it surprising to know that the River Nile was worshipped by the Ancient Africans as being their god. North Africa used the waters of the River Nile in securing their present and future. It can be easily concluded that the historical and geographical importance of the Nile still makes it one of the most valuable water resources in the world. It is not only the longest waterway but also helped the development and progression of a number of North African states. The waters of the Nile are still used by these states to strengthen their political, fiscal and societal aspects.
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