Why Did People Live Near the Nile River?

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The Egyptians lived along the Nile because it provided fish, game, fruits and water in an area surrounded by desert. The dry, sandy deserts both east and west of the Nile provided protection from their enemies, allowing the people to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle.

The Sahara Desert to the west of the Nile is over 3.5 million square miles in area. East of the Nile, there are other deserts. However, along the river, there is a narrow strip of land alive with plants and animals. The early residents found life along the Nile less harsh than life in the desert.

After learning to deal with the river’s seasonal flooding, the Egyptians found living in the area was ideal for farming. Egyptian farmers brought many improvements to man’s way of life. With crops, the Egyptians were no longer hunters and gathers. The land provided wheat, which they made into bread. Flax and cotton provided fibers so that clothing was made of cloth instead of skins. Since they no longer needed to wander to find food and clothing, tent living was not necessary, and the Egyptians built homes. Life along the Nile allowed residents to consider art, religion, philosophy and government. They built pyramids and buried their dead as mummies as their culture, which depended on the Nile, flourished.