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History

Ancient Nile Valley States

- Ancient Egypt -

- Nubian Kingdoms -

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By 3500 bc the favorable wet phase was coming to an end and the Saharan steppe again gave way to full desert. As the desert expanded, herders and cultivators concentrated in areas of perennial water sources, notably the Nile Valley. In what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt, the north-flowing Nile forms a great S-shaped curve and passes through six cataracts (rapids or waterfalls), which are numbered from north to south. In this area, known as Nubia, the concentration of settlements between the first and fourth cataracts prompted the clearing of riverside vegetation and exposure of the fertile floodplain. Large-scale projects such as this required communal labor and, consequently, the development of political and religious authority capable of commanding large workforces. Clan chiefs became kings, with each king acting as the guardian of his kingdom’s god.

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