|Nile Delta in hieroglyphics
land of estuary waters
|NASA 's MODIS satellites
The Nile Delta ( ancient Egyptian Ta-Mehet ) ( Arabic دلتا النيل) represents the delta of the mouth of the African Nile . This river delta is located in Lower Egypt directly to the north (seen from the river perspective below) of Cairo on the coast of the southeastern Mediterranean .
The Nile Delta is probably the best-known estuary delta, because it was also known as "Delta" because it has the characteristic triangular shape derived from the Greek letter Delta (Δ).
About 25 km north of Cairo, the Nile fans out to form the 24,000 km² Nile Delta, after which the Nile finally flows into the Mediterranean . Today there are only two estuary arms left: the western rosette arm and the eastern Damietta arm. They were named after the cities of Rosette and Damietta , which are located at their mouths. This most fertile region in North Africa has a population of around 60 million. In antiquity, the name was given both after the estuary cities (Canopus, Bobitine, Pelusion) and after major cities that were further south in the delta on the respective arms (Sais, Sebennytos, Mendes, Tanis).
According to the Greek historian Herodotus , in antiquity in the 6th and 5th centuries BC there were BC five natural mouth arms (Historien, 2. Book 17). At that time, the Nile split into three main arms near the city of Katadupa :
- the eastern Pelusian arm (mouth: Pelusion , later after delta expansion Ostium Pelusiacum)
- the middle Sebennytic arm (mouth: Ostium Sebennyticum, silted up today)
- the western Canobic Arm (mouth: Kanopus (Kanobos) , Ostium Canobicum, silted up today)
Further arms branched off from the central Sebennytic estuary:
- the bucolic or Phatnian arm to the east (artificial, ancient point of mouth: Ostium Phatnicum or Bucolicum, today Damiette arm), branched from it
- the Mendesian arm to the east (ancient place of mouth: Ostium Mendesicum, silted up)
The Bolbitinic or Saitic arm (mouth: Bolbitine , Ostium Bolbitinum, today Rosette) is not mentioned in Herodotus.
Pliny the Elder and Strabo (Geographie, 801) agree on a Phatnic and a Tanitic mouth arm, but know neither a Saitic nor a Bucolic arm. The Saitic arm, on which Sais lies, corresponds to the Bolbitinian arm, the bucolic arm to the Phatnic arm. He mentioned a total of seven arms (from east to west), the Pelusi (Aki) s, Tanitic, Mendesi, Phatn (it) si (or Phatmetic), Sebennytic, Bolbitin and Canopian (Canobe or Heracleotide) arm or Nile. It should be noted that Pliny and Strabo lived about 400 years after Herodotus, and names changed over time. In addition, the Nile Delta was subject to constant change due to the annual floods and the associated mud flood.
So in Roman times there were seven main arms, from west to east, they were:
- Canobe Arm (lower reaches from the branch of the Saitic Arm, silted up)
- Bolbitinic or Saitic arm (branches off from the Kanobian arm, today the rosette arm)
- Sebennytic Arm (silted up)
- Bucolic or Phatni (ti) cal arm (branches off from the Sebennytic arm eastwards, today Damiette arm)
- Mendesian arm (branches off from the Phatnian arm, silted up)
- Tanitic or Sethroitic arm (branches off from the Phatnian arm, silted up)
- Pelusian arm (silted up)
The siltation began in antiquity and was largely complete in Islamic times.
The Aswan Dam and its impact on the Nile Delta
As a result of the conversion of the irrigation methods on the Nile from seasonal irrigation in flood basins to year-round canal irrigation and the delta barrages built for this purpose, as well as the construction of the Aswan dam , the Asyut, which Muhammad Ali Pascha began during his rule over Egypt from 1805 to 1848 Dam and the Zifta weir (all completed in 1902), the agriculturally built and irrigated areas were considerably enlarged. As a result, less and less water and thus less suspended matter and sediments got into the Mediterranean. As a result of the Aswan Dam , which was built between 1960 and 1971, the sediments (which had not previously been retained by the Sannar Dam and Roseires Dam ) settled in the Lake Nasser , which it dammed .
As a result, no more sediments are fed into the Nile Delta and it no longer pushes itself further into the sea, but is slowly carried away by the surf .
Places in or on the Nile Delta (downstream)
A possible rise in the sea level of the Mediterranean, which could be caused by global warming , can have fatal consequences for the Nile Delta in a very short time. A rise in the sea of less than a meter can cost many millions of people their living space.
|Royal residence and administrative center, capital of ancient Egypt for a long time.
|Important religious center, main cult place of Re and Atum-Re .
|Capital of the 2nd Lower Egyptian Gau .
|The high priest Onias built a Jewish temple here during the Ptolemaic period .
|Capital of the 10th Lower Egyptian Gau ( Kemwer ).
|Main place of worship of the goddess Bastet , an important city during the late Egyptian period .
|Probably royal residence during the 23rd Dynasty .
|During the Second Intermediate Period, the capital of the Hyksos .
|Capital of the Ramessids under Ramses III.
|One of the main cult places of the snake goddess Wadjet .
|Important Greek trading city during the Saïten period .
|Abu Sir Bana
|Important place of worship of Osiris .
|Djedet / Anpet
|Capital of the 16th Lower Egyptian Gau and state capital during the 29th Dynasty .
|Royal residence during the 21st dynasty .
|Main place of worship of the goddess Neith and state capital during the 26th Dynasty (Saïten period).
|Contained important Isis places of worship.
|Pe and Dep
|Main place of cult of the snake goddess Wadjet (Uto).
|Important port and trading city of the late period.
|Founded by Alexander the Great , one of the largest and most important metropolises of antiquity.
|Location of various temples and pyramids, mostly from the 5th dynasty .
- Emil Nack: Egypt and the Middle East in antiquity (= library of ancient cultures ). Ueberreuter, Vienna / Heidelberg 1977, ISBN 3-8000-3141-8 .
- Ian Wilson : The Exodus Enigma. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1985, ISBN 0-297-78749-7 .
- The Nile Delta in the time of the pharaohs. (= Kemet 3/2006),
- Delta map from the 19th century
- Exact topographical image of the Nile Delta from 18 of the 45 sheets of the Carte topographique de l'Egypte 1818 (French)
- Ahmed Saleh (Coordinator): Assessment of the current state of the Nile Basin Reservoir Sedimentation Scheme. ( Memento of the original from October 9, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Nile Basin Capacity Building Network 'NBCBN', 2005
- Thomas Kühn: The Nile Delta . In: Gabriele Höber-Kamel (Ed.): Kemet . tape 3/2006 . Kemet Verlag, 2006, ISSN 0943-5972 , p. 6-10 .