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Lower Egypt (Arabic: مصر السفلى Miṣr as-Suflā, Coptic: ⲧⲥⲁϦⲏⲧ Tsakhit) is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.
|Unknown–c. 3150 BCE|
|Common languages||Ancient Egyptian|
|Religion||Ancient Egyptian religion|
• c. 3150 BCE
|c. 3150 BCE|
|Today part of||Egypt|
In Ancient Egyptian Lower Egypt was known as mḥw which means "north". Later on during Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Greeks and Romans called it Κάτω Αἴγυπτος or Aegyptus Inferior both meaning "Lower Egypt". Native Coptic Egyptian population carried on using the old name related to north – Tsakhit (Coptic: ⲧⲥⲁϦⲏⲧ) or Psanamhit (Coptic: ⲡⲥⲁⲛⲉⲙϩⲓⲧ) "Northern part", which they also divided into three regions – western part called ⲛⲓⲫⲁⲓⲁⲧ Niphaiat ("Libyans"), central part called ⲡⲉⲧⲙⲟⲩⲣ Badmur ("the one which bounds, girds") and eastern one called ϯⲁⲣⲁⲃⲓⲁ Diarabia ("Arabia").
In ancient times, Pliny the Elder, in Natural History (Book 5, chapter 11), said that upon reaching the delta the Nile split into seven branches (from east to west): the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, and the Canopic. Today there are two principal channels that the Nile takes through the river's delta: one in the west at Rashid and one in the east at Damietta.
The delta region is well watered, crisscrossed by channels and canals.
The climate in Lower Egypt is milder than that of Upper Egypt owing primarily to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Temperatures are less extreme and rainfall is more abundant.
It was divided into twenty districts called nomes, the first of which was at el-Lisht. Because Lower Egypt was mostly undeveloped scrubland, filled with all types of plant life such as grasses and herbs, the organization of the nomes underwent several changes.
By about 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile River had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. Shortly after 3600 BC Egyptian society began to grow and advance rapidly toward refined civilization. A new and distinctive pottery, which was related to the pottery in the Southern Levant, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time. The Mesopotamian process of sun-dried bricks, and architectural building principles—including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect—became popular during this time.
Concurrent with these cultural advances, a process of unification of the societies and towns of the upper Nile River, or Upper Egypt, occurred. At the same time the societies of the Nile Delta, or Lower Egypt also underwent a unification process. Warfare between Upper and Lower Egypt occurred often. During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies in the Delta and merged the Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt under his single rule.
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List of kings of the Predynastic Period of Lower EgyptEdit
The Palermo stone, a royal annal written in the mid Fifth Dynasty (c. 2490 BC – c. 2350 BC) records a number of kings reigning over Lower Egypt before Narmer. These are completely unattested outside these inscriptions:
List of nomesEdit
|Number||Egyptian Name||Capital||Modern name of capital site||English Translation|
|1||Inebu-hedj||Ineb Hedj / Men-nefer / Menfe (Memphis)||Mit Rahina||White Walls|
|2||Khensu||Khem (Letopolis)||Ausim||Cow's thigh|
|3||Ahment||Imu (Apis)||Kom el-Hisn||West|
|5||Sap-Meh||Zau (Sais)||Sa el-Hagar||Northern shield|
|6||Khaset||Khasu (Xois)||Sakha||Mountain bull|
|7||A-ment||(Hermopolis Parva, Metelis)||Damanhur||West harpoon|
|8||A-bt||Tjeku / Per-Atum (Heroonpolis, Pithom)||Tell el-Maskhuta||East harpoon|
|9||Ati||Djed (Busiris)||Abu Sir Bara||Andjeti|
|10||Ka-khem||Hut-hery-ib (Athribis)||Banha (Tell Atrib)||Black bull|
|11||Ka-heseb||Taremu (Leontopolis)||Tell el-Urydam||Heseb bull|
|12||Theb-ka||Tjebnutjer (Sebennytos)||Samanud||Calf and Cow|
|13||Heq-At||Iunu (Heliopolis)||Materiya (suburb of Cairo)||Prospering Sceptre|
|14||Khent-abt||Tjaru (Sile, Tanis)||Tell Abu Sefa||Eastmost|
|15||Tehut||Ba'h / Weprehwy (Hermopolis Parva)||Baqliya||Ibis|
|16||Kha||Djedet (Mendes)||Tell el-Rubˁ||Fish|
|17||Semabehdet||Semabehdet (Diospolis Inferior)||Tell el-Balamun||The throne|
|18||Am-Khent||Per-Bastet (Bubastis)||Tell Bastah (near Zagazig)||Prince of the South|
|19||Am-Pehu||Dja'net (Leontopolis Tanis)||Tell Nebesha or San el-Hagar||Prince of the North|
|20||Sopdu||Per-Sopdu||Saft el-Hinna||Plumed Falcon|
- Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1966) p. 52-53.
- "TM Places". www.trismegistos.org. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
- Champollion, Jean-François (1814). L'Égypte sous les pharaons, ou recherches sur la géographie, la religion, la langue, les écritures et l'histoire de l'Égypte avant l'invasion de Cambyse. Paris: Bure. p. 5.
- Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons Publishing: New York, 1966) p. 51.
- Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons Publishers: New York, 1966), p. 53.
- Breasted (1909) p.36