Egypt: the Five Themes of Geography Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

Egypt is a land of rich culture, society, religion, customs, and prosperity. Tourists flock over in floods to marvel at the wonders of Egypt: the pyramids, the temples, the Sphinx, and the fortresses. But if the Egyptians hadn’t been lucky to stumble upon the land of Egypt, there would not be much left to see. Egypt’s unique geography separates it from other lands. Each of the five themes of geography, which are location, region, place, interaction, and movement, are distinctly different from the others and have shaped Egypt’s environment throughout the ages.

Location is the spot or setting of an area. There are two kinds of location: exact and relative location. Exact location is where in latitude and longitude is a place. The exact location of Egypt is between 22º — 32ºN and 24º — 37º E. Relative location describes a place in relation to its surrounding areas. Egypt is located in northeastern Africa. It is near Europe and Asia. To the north of Egypt is the Mediterranean Sea. Looking to south, there are the countries of Nubia, Kush, and Sudan. The Red Sea and Israel make an eastern border. On the west side is the Libyan Desert and the Sahara Desert. Running right through the middle of Egypt is the Nile River, the feature that made the Nile what it is today and in the past. Location is a major aspect of Egypt’s history. Egypt’s rich location placed it within the fertile and prosperous region of the Nile River Valley.

Region is a territory or area that has common physical or human features. The region of Egypt is located in Northeastern Africa, near Europe and Asia. It is in the oasis of the desert, the Nile River Valley. There were many natural resources in the area. Gold, turquoise, and amethyst were mined in eastern Egypt. The old Kingdom started in Lower Egypt, and it built the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. Later, the Middle Kingdom arose around 2000 BC and constructed the city of Thebes. The New Kingdom gained power from an empire all the way from Kush to Mesopotamia. The Egyptian region is one of many cultural and natural differences and features. This region made Egypt a special place with many remarkable natural and human aspects of the land.

Place includes the characteristics of the land, both natural and man-made. Egypt’s place is very distinctive. The setting includes the Nile River, the longest river in the world. The Nile is so important to Egypt the Egypt’s nickname is really “Gift of the Nile” The Nile has made Egypt an oasis in the desert. Every July, the Nile River flooded its banks and deposited six miles on either side of the river of rich, fertile black silt. This silt is what allowed farmers to have such a good agricultural production. Farmers had a great surplus of food. The surplus of food allowed division of labor to be formed. Everyone had specialized jobs now that not everybody needed to farm. Rural residents were generally farmers, while urban residents were usually craftsmen and merchants. As the need for food diminished, customs and religions developed. Both men and women wore striking jewelry. Egyptian children owned pets such as cats and dogs, and wealthier ch

ildren had exotic pets such as tropical birds and monkeys from other parts of Africa. In Egypt, part

of their new religious beliefs was the pharaoh. The pharaoh was the absolute ruler of Egypt. He was worshipped as a living god on earth.

The gods were in charge of all the forces of nature. The Egyptians had the first religion to believe in the afterlife. They made mummies and pyramids as tombs for the dead pharaohs. The most famous pyramids are in Giza. The pharaohs held the power of life or death over his people. He also had power over the government. The government had control over the irrigation systems and the grain supplies. To prevent Egypt from being raided, the government built walled cities. There was a class system. The three classes were the elite, the commoners, and slaves. The Elites were governors, scribes and architects, while the commoners were farmers, craftsmen and merchants. The slaves were people in debt. Every time there was a war, prisoners were enslaved. Slaves were common in Egypt. However, slaves in Egypt had many more rights than slaves in other areas; they could own property, get married, and win their freedom. The Egyptians also advanced in their technology. They invented a writing system called hieroglyphics, mummification, pyramids, and more. Egypt was a fascinating place with many cultural and natural features that allowed Egyptians to cooperate, interact with, and make use of their environment.

Interaction is how humans interact, adapt to, modify, and depend on their surroundings and environment. The Egyptians adapted to living on the Nile. They depended on its water and its annual floods to provide their farmlands with rich black silt and water. In the silt, farmers generally planted wheat. Women took and ground the wheat to flour to make bread. The extra grain was stored by the government in the granaries. The fields were irrigated with water from the Nile. Slaves worked as laborers and dug the irrigation ditches. Egyptians also used animals to plow the fields. Farm tools were manufactured out of copper and bronze. Egyptian men farmed their fields in the spring, but in the summer, the land was no good, so the turned to buildings. In the fall, they harvested last spring’s crops. A surplus of food developed, which allowed division of labor and different people to be doing different jobs. Some people used the river clay to make pottery, others used gemstones to make jewelry, and they also used copper and bronze to make weapons. Papyrus that grew along the Nile was used as paper to write on. Egyptian writing was called hieroglyphics. Usually, houses consisted of sun baked mud brick. People also used the Nile for trading with other countries. Trade allowed Egypt to share resources with other countries.

Thus Egypt prospered, because the materials they had in abundance they could keep some and trade the rest for items that were rare. Because it was very hot in Egypt people there wore light gowns. The environment also gave way to a developing religion. Priests used flax to make linen strips to preserve the dead. People also made pyramids out of the natural stones and mud in the area. To decorate the tombs, people mined gold turquoise and amethyst. The pyramids were for the pharaoh, who had the power of life or death over his people. He and the government controlled everything that was going on. The bountiful natural setting in Egypt allowed the country to prosper and develop. With the surplus of materials, people could travel and move around different areas to trade, explore, and conquer land.

Movement is when people, goods, and ideas travel in and out, sharing with other neighboring areas. Movement can be trade. For example, Egyptian children gained their exotic birds and monkeys by trading with the rain forest parts of Africa. People traded food and other plentiful resources for what they needed. The Nile River was the center of the trade. Merchants and traders floated up and down, offering goods. Egypt generally traded with Nubia and Kush through the Nile, and with Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine on the Mediterranean Sea with numerous seaports built there. Another way there was movement was through war. Egypt battled against its neighboring countries, such as Palestine, Syria, Nubia, Kush, and Turkey. Ramses the Great struggled to maintain Egypt’s power; he battled heroically and fiercely with the Hittites of Palestine and returned victorious. The Egyptian army traveled on horse-drawn chariots. Every time there was a war, prisoners were enslaved. Egypt ended with the battle against the Greeks and Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. The Romans, led by Emperor Augustus, also smashed the Egyptian Empire. Egypt’s glory drew to a close.

Though the Egyptian civilization ended long ago, their legacies live on today. Location, region, place, interaction, and movement have shaped their environment to the best of the best. Their elite levels of society were made possible from the five themes of geography. Egyptians created a one of the greatest civilizations of all time by using their location, region, place, interaction with the land, and movement around different areas to their benefit.

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