The Season of the Inundation
(the MdC transliteration
of the Egyptian
term is Axt
, and it is occasionally written as Akhet
) was the first season in the ancient Egyptian calendar
. It received its name because the ancient Egyptians marked the beginning of their year by the rising of the Nile
flood waters; this event was important to the people because the waters left behind fertile silt and moisture which was the cause of the fertility of the Egyptian nation.
The ancient Egyptians
used this name in both their lunar and their civil calendars. The lunar calendar began with the heliacal rising
, which during the time of the ancient Egyptians occurred from July 17 to 19 (according to the Julian calendar
— in Egypt the Sothic year
happens to be of the same length as the Julian); the four months
of their lunar calendar are roughly equivalent to the period from the rising of Sirius to the middle of November.
The New Year's day of the civil calendar, on the other hand, moved through the seasons over time, by about one day every four years. Therefore, the Season of Inundation does not continuously match any part of the modern calendar.
The Season of Inundation consisted of the four 30-day months, which are, unless they are simply referred to by number in the ancient Egyptian fashion, called by their Latinized Greek names of Thoth, Phaophi, Athyr and Choiak. It was followed by the Season of the Emergence