After inhabiting the plains of Mesopotamia, the Sumerians began to enjoy the benefits of fertile land. A similar rise in early civilization occurred in Egypt. Several fertile peoples gathered on the fertile river banks in the Nile Valley 5000 years BC. There were Libyans, Semites from Asia and Nubians from the warm parts of Africa. This mixed population settled in two separate areas of Upper Egypt (the valley below the Asians) and Lower Egypt (known as Fayem). According to legend, these peoples lived separately until the king of Upper Egypt Menes conquered the northern province in 3400 BC. Since then, Egypt has existed as a united state under the rule of one king.
In 3500 BC, Semitic tribes (from the Persian Gulf region) invaded Upper Egypt. Soon they fit into the local population, which was useful because the Semites were at a higher cultural level than the natives. They maintained many relationships with the Sumerians. The Semites learned to use bronze and make pottery. They knew the wedge letter.
The people of Upper Egypt developed faster than the people of Lower Egypt. Over time, more Semites are moving to Upper Egypt. By the time King Menes conquered the whole country, the Semitic and Sumerian peoples mixed so much that they used one language. Initially, the Egyptians did not build large cities (unlike the Sumerians). Villages were being built in the plain. There could be an exchange of goods. The only city was the capital of the king whose location depended on the nature of the ruling dynasty.
The first king of all Egypt was Menes. Menes creates his first dynasty with his heirs. There is some information about the Menesus as well as about Zoser (his successor) who lived 500 years after Menes. The period between these two rulers is unknown. Such unknown periods between the reigns of individual rulers occur throughout the history of Egypt. The same is true of the history of all other early civilizations.
Historical records of Menes say that he was a wise and valuable Pharaoh (as the Egyptians called their rulers). Menes’s greatest merit was the introduction of order in tillage. Menes introduces the so-called “Nilometer” device, which records the level of the Nile River at various points along the coast. In these places stood observers watching the river level alerting farmers to the impending floods.
This mode allowed farmers to take advantage of the rising water and irrigate their arable land. The Nile Valley has always remained waterlogged from mid-August to mid-October. So farmers could plan harvest and sowing. After harvest, the water would grow by soaking the dry and sun-baked soil, covering it with a layer of very fertile sludge.
The water would recede in October which was harvest time. Freshly fertilized soil would give a rich yield. In these conditions, the poorest farmers had more food than they needed. Senior food was sold. However, there was a time when population increased that flooded irrigated land could not provide enough food. Then they shone new fields of riverbank offshore and irrigated them (in an area with heavy rain).
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