The Dynamics of a Riverine Civilization: A Geoarchaeological Perspective on the Nile Valley,Egypt

Egyptian civilization depended on the bounty of the River Nile.

Frequent fluctuations in the height of summer floods influenced both floodplain geomorphology and the area cultivated.

Thus agricultural yield oscillated as a function of pronounced interannual variability, as well as episodic variations in response to abrupt climatic changes in the watershed of the Nile tributaries.

This situation also created a dynamic landscape and a variety of cultural responses depending on the specific cultural-historical circumstances.

The aggradation of the floodplain has also influenced the recovery of archaeological remains.

Predynastic settlement sites in the Delta are 4-6m below the surface and Graeco-Roman settlements are 1-2m deep.

Subsidence of the Delta and sea-level change were responsible for pronounced changes in the
geomorphology of the Delta, the distribution of water-ways and hence trade.

 

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