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The Nile Valley

Authored by: David Jeffreys

The Egyptian World

Print publication date:  September  2007
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415427265
eBook ISBN: 9780203820933
Adobe ISBN: 9781136753770

10.4324/9780203820933.ch1

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Abstract

The geography of the Nile Valley is, of course, familiar to anyone with an interest in pharaonic civilization, but that familiarity tends perhaps to cloud our appreciation of its unusual and even unique qualities. Essentially a major river system passing through a hyper-arid desert (it has sometimes been described as a ‘linear oasis’), the valley consists of the river itself, with an average width of about 500 metres, and a strip of arable alluvial soil either side, giving a flood plain width varying from three to 12 kilometres. The edges of the valley are of only seasonal potential use, and in times of low floods and during the dry season were used for occasional grazing or abandoned altogether.

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