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Egypt is characterized by the fertile Nile river valley and the deserts that spread out on either side.  The Nile enters Egypt at its southern border, flowing northward and spreading out into a broad delta north of Cairo on it way to the Mediterranean Sea.  Most of Egypt's population lives in the area around the Nile river and its delta.
The center of Egypt is located at 26.82 degrees North (latitude) and 30.80 degrees East (longitude).

The History of Egypt

Egypt's ancient history is divided primarily into three kingdoms:  the Old Kingdom, lasting from about 2200 BC to 2100 BC; the Middle Kingdom, from 2055 BC to 1700 BC; and the New Kingdom, from 1550 BC to 1100 BC.  After each of these major epochs were periods of instability known as the Intermediate Eras.  It is believed that there were a total of 31 dynasties, or ruling families, during this time.

Egyptian hieroglypics The art of hieroglyphic writing was developed during the Old Kingdom, as was the Egyptian Calendar.  The first Pyramids were also built during this period.  The Middle Kingdom saw increased immigration, as "sojourners" or "foreigners" settled along the Nile River.  Most of the great Egyptian monuments actually date from the New Kingdom.  Many of the most well-known Pharoahs, including King Tut and Ramses II, ruled during this period.  The famous recording of the Exodus of the Hebrews occurred during the New Kingdom, as well.

King Tut - Egyptian Pharoah The Intermediate Eras were marked by transition and unrest.  The First Intermediate Era saw the kingdom torn in two by disputes between northern and southern Egypt.  Foreigners ruled the nation during the Second Intermediate Era.  During the Third Intermediate Era, Egypt was invaded by the Nubians and the Assyrians.  Because these two nations had adopted much of Egypt's culture, these foreign dynasties are traditionally included in the kingdom eras.

sphinx and Pompey's pillar, Alexandria, Egypt The Late Period, from 720 BC to 332 BC, marked the end of the age of the Pharaohs, as a procession of foreign rulers invaded and presided over Egypt for the next 2400 years.  In 305 BC, Alexander the Great ushered in the Ptolemaic Period, founding Alexandria.  Then, in 30 AD, Egypt once again changed hands at the Battle of Actium, when Cleopatra and Mark Antony lost the nation to Octavian.  Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire until its collapse in 395 AD.  Three Byzantine Empires followed Rome in ruling Egypt.  In 313 AD, Constantine famously converted to Christianity and granted tolerance to Christians, which allowed for the formation of the Egyptian Coptic Church.  The Modern Era started in 642 AD and continues to the present day, where Egypt is once again independent.

For more information about Egypt's history, visit BBC's Ancient History of the Egyptians web pages and Wikipedia's History of Egypt pages.


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Egypt Address Locator Map - Egyptian History Overview