Seven or eight thousand years ago, at the farthest reaches of human memory, before there was Egypt or
the pyramids, North Africa was a lush and green place. There were vast grasslands and green forests
stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Over this enormous green area, humans wandered in
small groups; eventually, about eight thousand or so years ago, some of these small groups began to plant
and cultivate their food. You might say that this change, which happened so slowly that it probably took a
millennium to take place, was the single most important event in human history. For it turned humans
intoagriculturist s. As farmers, these wandering human groups settled down in one place, and human
culture, confined now to villages, radically changed shape.
This revolution, so vital to everything that follows, took shape so slowly that at least one quarter
of written human history can be contained in the period of time that it took for humans to become
agriculturists. While this revolution happened all around the world, North Africa was a special case. For
about the time humans slowly transformed into farmers, North Africa started to die. It died slowly and
imperceptibly, but generation after generation began to notice that it was raining less frequently and that
there were fewer plants. The death of the grasslands and forests slowly gave way to sand; in a few
thousand years, North Africa became "The Desert" ("Sahara" means "desert" in Arabic). Humans were
pushed relentlessly by the encroaching dry and sand. They were pushed south (they are still being pushed
south as the Sahara continues to grow), some were pushed north into the Middle East, and some were
pushed towards the Nile River. Like a solitary giant, the Nile loomed as the only source of water in the
growing desert; in a sea of sand, the Nile was a thin sliver of green, growth, and life.
The Nile Civilizations
This is where the great Nile civilizations were fostered and grew: Egypt, Nubia, Meroe. From the
desperate human communities forced by the growing desert to live on the banks of the Nile grew one of
the first great urban cultures of human history.
Isn't that something interesting to think about. This information is on the website below along with other information on Egypt.