Lower Egypt

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Map of Lower and Upper Egypt

Lower Egypt (Arabic: مصر السفلىMaṣr el-sofla) is the northernmost region of Egypt: the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El-Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Zawyet Dahshur.

Geography

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.

In ancient times, Pliny the Elder (N.H. 5.11) 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 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.

History

Lower Egypt was known as Ta-Mehu which means "land of papyrus." It was divided into twenty districts called nomes, the first of which was at el-Lisht. Because Lower Egypt was mostly undeveloped scrubland, undeveloped for human life and filled with all types of plant life such as grasses and herbs, the organization of the nomes underwent several changes.

The capital of Lower Egypt was Memphis. Its patron Goddess was the cobra goddess Wadjet. Lower Egypt was represented by the Low Red Crown Deshret, and its symbols were the papyrus and the bee.

See also

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