Ancient Civilizations: Egypt


Egypt, or the Nile Valley, has been inhabited by early humans since about 700,000 years ago. So Ancient Egypt is much more ancient than most of us believe it to be. Stone tools dating back to that period can be found near Abu Simbel close to where the temple to Ramses II was later built.

Over the millennia these stone age people slowly evolved, so that by 500,000 years ago they were using stone axes, and by 150,000 BC they were living in structures like houses, with a dome made of hides or grass held down with a circle of stones over a flat sandstone foundation. These dwellings could be taken down and moved easily, and were probably used by nomadic people.

By 100,000 years ago these people had evolved and had developed much more efficient stone tools, especially spear tips, which made it possible for them to hunt better. Early humans spread into almost every habitable part of North Africa. By 30,000 BC the climate was getting drier and people were forced to live closer to the river and so there was a blend of different cultures. They settled along the Nile and gave up their nomadic lifestyle. 1     2     3



Pyramids of Giza in the Valley of the Kings. © William Hocker

Country Profile

 Africa in History
 Human Evolution

 North Africa  

 Kingdoms of the South
 Trading Empires
 West Africa

Slave Trade