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The Medieval NileRoute, Navigation, and Landscape in Islamic Egypt$
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John Cooper

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166143

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166143.001.0001

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Ports of the Western Delta

Ports of the Western Delta

(p.195) 13 Ports of the Western Delta
The Medieval Nile

John P. Cooper

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter focuses on the main sea-facing ports of the western Nile Delta in the medieval period, principally Alexandria and Rosetta, in the context of the navigational connections to them. It demonstrates the relative insignificance of Rosetta relative to Alexandria, despite it being close to the mouth of the main distributary of the western Nile Delta. Rosetta was a garrison town, but not an important commercial hub at any time when the canal to Alexandria was well maintained. Alexandria prospered, meanwhile, despite the lack of a natural waterway connecting it to the river network. Indeed, substantial resources were expended on canals that created such a connection. The reason for the medieval emphasis on keeping Alexandria connected is explained in the light of the dangerous conditions navigators faced at the Rosetta mouth. The role of the town of Fuwa in the Alexandria route is also explored.

Keywords:   Egypt, Nile, Delta, canal, river, Alexandria, Rosetta, Idku, Shabur, Mahmudiya, Fuwa

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