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date: 29 October 2020

Egypt, ancientlocked

  • Helen M. Strudwick,
  • Claude Vandersleyen,
  • Dimitris Plantzos,
  • William A. Ward,
  • William H. Peck,
  • Dominic Montserrat,
  • John Baines,
  • Gay Robins,
  • J. Ruffle,
  • Lise Manniche,
  • Rosemarie Klemm,
  • Jean-Luc Chappaz,
  • Joachim Śliwa,
  • Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood,
  • Ann Bomann,
  • R. G. Morkot,
  • Peter Lacovara,
  • Delia Pemberton,
  • Rita E. Freed,
  • Philip J. Watson,
  • Robert S. Bianchi,
  • Henry G. Fischer,
  • Jaromir Malek,
  • S. Curto,
  • Nadine Cherpion,
  • James F. Romano,
  • Karol Mysliwiec,
  • Richard A. Fazzini,
  • Edna R. Russmann,
  • Eleni Vassilika,
  • updated by Dimitris Plantzos,
  • Edda Bresciani,
  • Claude Traunecker,
  • T. G. H. James,
  • W. J. Tait,
  • J. H. Taylor,
  • Dorothea Arnold,
  • Jack Ogden,
  • Jean Vercoutter,
  • Carol Andrews,
  • Donald P. Ryan,
  • E. Finkenstaedt,
  • Paul T. Nicholson,
  • Rosemarie Drenkhahn,
  • Willemina Z. Wendrich,
  • Robert Anderson,
  • Barbara G. Aston
  •  and Morris Bierbrier


Civilization that flourished in the Nile Valley for three and a half thousand years, from c. 3000 bc to ad 395.

Helen M. Strudwick

The boundaries of ancient Egypt were formed by substantial natural barriers: to the south the 1st Nile cataract, to the north the Mediterranean and to the east and west the deserts (see fig.). There are only three basic components of the physical geography of Egypt: the Nile, flowing from south to north between fertile banks, and the two areas of desert on either side. In the north the Nile branches into many streams through the Delta and finally flows out into the Mediterranean.

The fertile plain through which the Nile runs is solely the result of the annual flooding of the Nile and the deposition of silt carried in suspension by the flood waters. The silt deposition is most noticeable in the areas closest to the river, and consequently the land there is slightly higher. The annual inundation of the Nile was a natural phenomenon caused by the large amounts of rain that normally fall in the summer months in the highlands to the south of Egypt and the ...

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W. Helck, E. Otto and W. Westendorff, eds: Lexikon der Ägyptologie (Wiesbaden, 1975–)
S. Sadie, ed.: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 20 vols (London, rev. 6/1980)