The map above shows how the course of the Nile river in Egypt has changed over the past 5,000 years. Additionally, it also shows settlements and Pyramid sites.
In case you’re having a hard time reading the map legend it says:
- 500 years BP (before present day)
- 1000 years BP
- 1500 years BP
- 2000 years BP
- 2500 years BP
- 3000 years BP
- 3500 years BP
- 4000 years BP
- 4500 years BP
- 5000 years BP
And, the light blue line is its present course.
A few facts about the Nile:
- Considered the longest river in the world at 6,853 km (4,258 mi) long.
- 11 countries share the water resources Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and most famously Egypt.
- It has two tributaries the White Nile and the Blue Nile.
- The Nile was such an important part of ancient Egyptian life, that their calendar was based on the 3 cycles of the Nile: Akhet (inundation), Peret (growing season), and Shemu (harvest season)
- Most of the Pyramids were built to the west of the Nile because it was considered the place of death, as the god Ra, the Sun, underwent birth in the east, death in the west.
You can learn more about the Nile from the following books:
- Walking the Nile
- Red Nile: A Biography of the World’s Greatest River
- Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt
Enjoy this map? Please help us by sharing it with a friend:
I love history and the maps engage my mind, thank you!
Sayed Khatab says
Thanks on the map. you said BP (before present day), but forgot to tell us what KYBP in the list stands for.
It stands for “n thousand years before present day”. K is for kilo.
the fact they used BP and not BC which is “before Christ.”
Reyansh Kochar says
bp is a short form for before present and they were talking about years before present and the info was correct
That’s interesting that Giza would have been to the West of the Nile. Would that have once been the west bank of the Nile?
giza was always to the west of the nile.
What’s the data source for this map?
I read somewhere that the fingertips of the Sphinx was at the Nile edge. Is that true? Presently the river is miles away!
Love the map, very helpful. Wanted to cite this map for a piece I’m writing. Just wondering, what is the data source of this map?
Fatima Alihodžić says
What is the light blue here? Every color seems similar, can you mark it better please so we can follow the present course of the Nile compared with the previous? Thank you!