Definitions

Lower Egypt

Upper and Lower Egypt

Ancient Egypt was divided into two regions, known as Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. To the north was Lower Egypt where the Nile fanned out with its several mouths to form the Nile Delta. To the south was Upper Egypt, stretching to Syene. The two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were united c. 3000 BC, but each maintained its own regalia. Thus, the pharaohs were known as the rulers of the Two Kingdoms.

While the labelling of "Upper" and "Lower" might seem counterintuitive, with Upper Egypt in the south and Lower Egypt in the north on modern maps, the terminology derives from the flow of the Nile from the highlands of East Africa (upstream) to the Mediterranean Sea (downstream).

There were a number of differences between Upper and Lower Egyptians in the ancient world. They spoke different dialects and had different customs. Many of these differences, and the occasional tensions they created, still exist in modern times. In Egyptian Arabic, Lower Egyptians are known as baḥarwa (Coptic: han.rememhit) and Upper Egyptians as ṣaʻayda (Coptic: han.remmaris).

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