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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Farming activities within the Nile valley grew from multiple roots: rich fish resources in the river itself provided a favourable habitat for broad-spectrum forager patterns of resource exploitation, including the gathering of wild sorghum; pastures and water-stimulated seasonal migrations of nomadic pastoralists to the river; northern Egypt’s Mediterranean climate encouraged settlement by agro-pastoralists from the Near East; and symbiotic and competitive interactions with agropastoralists of the lakes and wadis between the Nile and Chad/Libya during the mid- and late Holocene. The Nile’s farming systems evolved in contexts that were not just ecological, but also political, economic, and ritual. This article considers some plausible aspects of the life worlds that people in the Nile Valley created from the first indication of farming activities until the formation of large-scale political units.

Keywords: Nile farming, food production, Egypt, wild sorghum, Nile Valley, nomadic pastoralists

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