This article needs additional citations for verification .(December 2018)
The Cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths (or whitewater rapids) of the Nile River, between Khartoum and Aswan, where the surface of the water is broken by many small boulders and stones jutting out of the river bed, as well as many rocky islets. In some places, these stretches are punctuated by whitewater, while at others the water flow is smoother, but still shallow.
Counted going upstream (from north to south):
Geologists indicate that the region of the northern Sudan is tectonically active and this activity has caused the river to take on "youthful" characteristics.The Nubian Swell has diverted the river's course to the west, while keeping its depth shallow and causing the formation of the cataracts. Even as the river bed is worn down by erosion, the land mass is lifted, keeping parts of the river bed exposed. These distinctive features of the river between Aswan and Khartoum have led to the stretch being often referred to as the Cataract Nile, while the downstream portion is occasionally referred to as the "Egyptian" Nile. The geological distinction between these two portions of the river is considerable. North of Aswan, the river bed is not rocky, but is instead composed of sediment, and far from being a shallow river. It is believed that the bedrock was previously eroded to be several thousand feet deep. This created a vast canyon that is now filled by the sediment.
Despite these characteristics, some of the cataracts which are normally impassable by boat because of the shallow water have become navigable during the flood season.
The word "cataract" comes from the Greek word καταρρέω ("to flow down"), although the original Greek term was the plural-only Κατάδουποι. However, contrary to this, none of the Nile's six primary cataracts could be accurately described as waterfalls, and given a broader definition, this is the same with many of the minor cataracts.
In ancient times, Upper Egypt extended from south of the Nile Delta to the first cataract, while further upstream, the land was controlled by the ancient Kingdom of Kush that would later take over Egypt from 760 to 656 BC.Besides the Kushite invasion, for most of Egyptian history, the Nile's cataracts, particularly the First Cataract, primarily served as a natural border to prevent most crossings from the south, as those in said region would rely on river travel to venture north and south. This allowed Egypt's southern border to be relatively protected from invasions, and besides brief Kushite rule it remained a natural border for most of Egyptian history.
Eratosthenes gave a precise description of the Cataract-Nile:
It has a similar shape to a backwards letter N. It flows northward from Meroë about 2700 stadia, then turns back to the south and the winter sunset for about 3700 stadia, and it almost reaches the same parallel as the Meroë region and makes its way far into Libya. Then it makes another turn, and flows northward 5300 stadia to the great cataract, curving slightly to the east; then 1200 stadia to the smaller cataract at Syene (i.e. Aswan), and then 5300 more to the sea.
The six cataracts of the Nile are depicted extensively by European visitors, notably by Winston Churchill in The River War (1899), where he recounts the exploits of the British trying to return to the Sudan between 1896 and 1898, after they were forced to leave in 1885.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to |
|volume=has extra text (help)
The geography of Egypt relates to two regions: North Africa and Southwest Asia.
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa. The longest river in Africa, it has historically been considered the longest river in the world, though this has been contested by research suggesting that the Amazon River is slightly longer, the Nile is amongst the smallest in the world by measure of cubic metres flowing annually. About 6,650 km (4,130 mi) long, its drainage basin covers eleven countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, and Egypt. In particular, the Nile is the primary water source of Egypt and Sudan.
The history of Sudan includes that of both the territory that composes Republic of the Sudan, South Sudan as well as that of a larger region known by the term "Sudan". The term is derived from Arabic: بلاد السودان bilād as-sūdān, or "land of the black people", and can be used more loosely of West and Central Africa in general, especially the Sahel.
Sudan is located in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest. Sudan is the third largest country in Africa, after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It had been the largest country on the continent until the 2011 independence of South Sudan.
The Aswan Dam, or more specifically since the 1960s, the Aswan High Dam, is the world's largest embankment dam, which was built across the Nile in Aswan, Egypt, between 1960 and 1970. Its significance largely eclipsed the previous Aswan Low Dam initially completed in 1902 downstream. Based on the success of the Low Dam, then at its maximum utilization, construction of the High Dam became a key objective of the government following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952; with its ability to better control flooding, provide increased water storage for irrigation and generate hydroelectricity the dam was seen as pivotal to Egypt's planned industrialization. Like the earlier implementation, the High Dam has had a significant effect on the economy and culture of Egypt.
Nubians are an ethno-linguistic group of people who are indigenous to the region which is now present-day Northern Sudan and southern Egypt. They originate from the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley, believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilization. They speak Nubian languages, part of the Northern Eastern Sudanic languages.
Meroë was an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site is a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. This city was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries from around 590 BC, until its collapse in the fourth century CE. The Kushitic Kingdom of Meroë gave its name to the "Island of Meroë", which was the modern region of Butana, a region bounded by the Nile, the Atbarah and the Blue Nile.
The Meroitic language was spoken in Meroë during the Meroitic period and became extinct about 400 CE. It was written in two forms of the Meroitic alphabet: Meroitic Cursive, which was written with a stylus and was used for general record-keeping; and Meroitic Hieroglyphic, which was carved in stone or used for royal or religious documents. It is poorly understood, owing to the scarcity of bilingual texts.
The Atbarah River, also known as the Black Nile, is a river in northeast Africa. It rises in northwest Ethiopia, approximately 50 km north of Lake Tana and 30 km west of Gondar. It then flows about 805 km (500 mi) to the Nile in north-central Sudan, joining it at the city of Atbarah. The river's tributary, the Tekezé (Setit) River, is perhaps the true upper course of the Atbarah, as the Tekezé follows the longer course prior to the confluence of the two rivers in northeastern Sudan. The Atbarah is the last tributary of the Nile before it reaches the Mediterranean.
Nubian pyramids are pyramids that were built by the rulers of the ancient Kushite kingdoms. The area of the Nile valley known as Nubia, which lies within the north of present-day Sudan, was home to three Kushite kingdoms during antiquity. The first had its capital at Kerma. The second was centered on Napata. Finally, the last kingdom was centered on Meroë. They are built of granite and sandstone.
Wādī Ḥalfā is a city in the Northern state of Sudan on the shores of "Lake Nubia" near the border with Egypt. It is the terminus of a rail line from Khartoum and the point where goods are transferred from rail to ferries going down the lake. As of 2007, the city had a population of 15,725. The town is located amidst numerous ancient Nubian antiquities and was the focus of much archaeological work by teams seeking to save artifacts from the flooding caused by the completion of the Aswan Dam.
Napata was a city of ancient Kush at the fourth cataract of the Nile. It is located approximately 1.5 kilometers from the right side of the river at the site of modern Karima, Sudan. It was the southernmost permanent settlement in the New Kingdom of Egypt and home to Jebel Barkal, the main Kushite cult centre of Amun. It was the sometime capital of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt and, after its fall in 663 BC, of the Kingdom of Kush. In 593 BC, it was sacked by the Egyptians and the Kushite capital was relocated to Meroë. Even after this move, Napata continued to be the kingdom's primary religious centre. The city was sacked a second time by the Romans in 23 BC but was rebuilt and continued as an important centre of the Amun cult.
The Merowe Dam, also known as Merowe High Dam, Merowe Multi-Purpose Hydro Project or Hamdab Dam, is a large dam near Merowe Town in northern Sudan, about 350 kilometres (220 mi) north of the capital Khartoum. Its dimensions make it the largest contemporary hydropower project in Africa. It is situated on the river Nile, close to and inundating the 4th Cataract where the river divides into multiple smaller branches with large islands in between. Merowe is a city about 40 kilometres (25 mi) downstream from the construction site at Hamdab. The main purpose for building the dam was the generation of electricity.
Alara was a King of Kush, who is generally regarded as the founder of the Napatan royal dynasty by his 25th Dynasty Kushite successors and was the first recorded prince of Kush. He unified all of Upper Nubia from Meroë to the Third Cataract and is possibly attested at the Temple of Amun at Kawa. Alara also established Napata as the religious capital of Kush. Alara himself was not a 25th dynasty Kushite king since he never controlled any region of Egypt during his reign compared to his two immediate successors: Kashta and Piye respectively. Nubian literature credits him with a substantial reign since future Nubian kings requested that they might enjoy a reign as long as Alara's. His memory was also central to the origin myth of the Kushite kingdom, which was embellished with new elements over time. Alara was a deeply revered figure in Nubian culture and the first Kushite king whose name came down to scholars.
The National Museum of Sudan or Sudan National Museum, abbreviated SNM, is a double storied building constructed in 1955 and established as a museum in 1971. The building and its surrounding gardens house the largest and most comprehensive Nubian archaeological collection in the world including objects from the Paleolithic through to the Islamic period originating from every site of importance in the Sudan.
Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the first cataract of the Nile and the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, or more strictly, Al Dabbah. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, the Kerma culture, which lasted from around 2500 BC until its conquest by the New Kingdom of Egypt under Pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC, whose heirs ruled most of Nubia for the next 400 years. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt in eighth-century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its 25th Dynasty.
The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient kingdom in Nubia, centered along the Nile Valley in what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt.
The Nile Basin is the part of Africa drained by the Nile River and its tributaries.
Between the Roman Empire and Nubia, the land immediately south of Egypt, there was a relationship and interaction that lasted seven centuries, from the first century BC to the seventh century AD.
Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the first cataract of the Nile as well as the confluence of the blue and white Niles or, more strictly, Al Dabbah. Nubia was the seat of several civilizations of ancient Africa, including the Kerma culture, the kingdom of Kush, Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia.