The River Nile and its banks
SETTLEMENT - The Nile is truly the River of Life and has been revered in Egypt since ancient times. Until the Aswan High Dam was built, only 4% of Egypt was cultivated, but this has now been extended to 6%. Nearly all habitation owes its existence to the narrow strip of land either side of the river itself or to the very fertile Nile Delta in the north.
One explanation for the shape of the Ankh, the ancient Egyptian symbol for eternal life, is that it is thought to represent the Nile and its importance to life and consequently their religion. The two side arms represent the two banks of the river - East for the Living and West for the After-life. The top loop is for the productivity and fertility of the Nile Delta; the stem is for the Nile itself.
The proximity of the Desert to the river is a constant reminder of the fragility of the narrow strip of life which survives all the way from Aswan to Cairo. Many of the dwellings and settlements have a very simple existence with few modern amenities.
|A typical riverside village||A train station squeezed between the river and the desert|
|A village clinging to the edge of the desert||One of the many village minarets, taken from an island in the river|
|A basic settlement scratching a living on the edge of the Nile||The ancient, on donkeys, passes the modern machine on the bank|
|Rare luxury between the river and the desert at Aswan||Three young girls intrigued by the sight of our passing boat|
||Click the YouTube logo to enable you to view an animated slideshow
with music of the Nile, its Banks and some of the boats that sail on it.
It may be necessary to allow an Active-x Control to run, so close the alert message,
then click the top bar in the window and 'Allow blocked content' then click 'Yes'.
ON THIS SITE THAT SHOULD BE PERFECTLY SAFE.