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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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The Nile Flood Cycle

The Nile Flood Cycle

(p.107) 7 The Nile Flood Cycle
The Medieval Nile

John P. Cooper

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter considers the hydrological cycle of the Nile, and considers the impact of the annual Nile flood on the navigability of the river. It identifies Nile navigation as a strongly seasonal activity. High Nile was the peak season for navigation on the main waterways of the river. It was also when a number of major canals, such as those serving Alexandria and the Red Sea were opened to traffic. During low Nile, navigation anywhere was possible only for vessels with a very shallow draft. As water levels dwindled, navigators in cargo vessels faced a mounting danger of grounding and subsequent capsize or even robbery. Using historical accounts, supplemented by hydrological data, it seeks to establish the extent of the navigational season of the Egyptian Nile.

Keywords:   Egypt, Nile, river, flood, canal, hydrology, grounding, seasonality

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