Sunday, July 18, 2010
The Nile River
The Nile (Arabic: ??????, an-ni-l, Ancient Egyptian iteru or H.'pi-, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world.
The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile, the latter being the source of most of the Nile's water and fertile soil, but the former being the longer of the two. The White Nile rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source in southern Rwanda at 2°16?55.92?S 29°19?52.32?E? / ?2.2822°S 29.3312°E? / -2.2822; 29.3312, and flows north from there through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and southern Sudan, while the Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in Ethiopia at 12°2?8.8?N 37°15?53.11?E? / ?12.035778°N 37.2647528°E? / 12.035778; 37.2647528, flowing into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
The northern section of the river flows almost entirely through desert, from Sudan into Egypt, a country whose civilization has depended on the river since ancient times. Most of the population and cities of Egypt lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along the banks of the river. The Nile ends in a large delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea.