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The Nile Delta


During the Pharaonic times, there were five tributaries of the Nile that fed the deltas marshlands. The farmers of that time cultivated the borders and the marshes turned into savannas. Over the centuries the climate has dried allowing for more cultivation of the land. All but two of the tributaries have been filled with silt; the eastern Damietta and the western Rosetta. The delta supplies the majority of Egypt’s crops today to feed Egypt’s people.

The Delta played an increasingly important part in the economy, politics and culture of Egypt during the dynastic periods to the Ptolemaic times. By the time of the New Kingdom, the draining of the Delta had provided a cultivation area that was twice the size of the entire Nile valley. The course of the river through Lower Egypt has almost completely erased the history of that area. In ancient times, the Nile had seven arms; the Pelosi, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic (Bucolic), the Sebennytic the Bolbitine and the Canopic. There are only two today; the Damietta and the Rosetta. Cities were abandoned or just disappeared with the drying up of some arms or the changing course of others.

During the Second Intermediate Period, Egypt was ruled by the Hyksos. The eastern Delta was called the Land of Goshen and was the capital of the Hyksos. During the 7th century BC, Naucratis, which is in the western Delta, became a flourishing Greek trading center. Ramses It’s capital Pi Ramesses, was built here. During the first millennium BC the Egyptian affairs were dominated by the Delta. The Delta became even more important when the Ptolemy’s built Alexandria as their capital between the seas arid the Delta. Most of the historical remains of the Delta have not survived the shifting of the Nile, the Mediterranean rains and the repeated plowing of the fields.


The Nile Delta life in Nile Delta

The Nile is truly one of the magnificent rivers on Earth. With its source deep within the African continent the Nile makes its way to the Mediterranean Sea through what is the heart of modern day Egypt, and where she flows she has allowed civilization to flourish for centuries. It’s amazing to ride along the Nile River and view the vast desert laying on either side and yet, where its waters touch you see lush, green fields and crops growing. It has certainly brought life to an area that would otherwise be dead and desolate without her life-giving waters. However, life along the Nile cannot be easy. As shown by these pictures it’s at best a primitive society with few modern machines to assist in cultivating the land.


Ras El Bar

It lies 193 km from Cairo. It is a very beautiful and serene summer resort and is characterized by its straw huts. It is bordered on the east by the Damietta branch of the Nile, and by the Mediterranean on the north and west. It is like a stretching arm that separates the river water of the Nile form the briny Mediterranean Sea. Nowadays RAS El Bar gains a respectable rank on the tourist map as the best resorts. This sort of importance may be ascribed to the evident tangible change within the city covering the public services and projects which seek to ensure the utmost means of ease and relaxation for those who come from different parts of the ARE. it pursuit of the possibilities of enjoying the charming nature which the resort boasts of.


Al Lessan

The most famous area is Al-lessan; a strip at its end arestuary where the River Nile blends with the Mediterranean.


El Bahr Mosque

It locates on the east side of the river Nile. It had been renewed fort he first time in 1 009A. B. on the Andalusia style. Then it has been renewed for the second time, also on the same style in 1967 A.B. its walls is decorated by the most admirable Islamic paintings, this mosque had five demoes and minaret. Also there is a cultural and religious library that attached to the mosque. The mosque had been overhauled in 1977A.B. and opened in great religious ceremony (Lilit Al lsraa Wall Merrage) in 1917A.B.


Virgin Church

In this Church there is body of the saint Macrodome Bishoy who had died as a result of anarchy sprawling and ill-treatment of alpanion soldier to the Egyptians at the end of Mohammed Ali Basha’s rule  to Egypt.

There is also a piece of wood from the cross to which the Christ had been stiffened this piece was a present the great saint of Marc 1974A.B. These history church returns to 1745 who were follows to I Catholic families from Arthozocsan Copts and it had been renewed in 1972A.B.


Al Guirby

It is one of the distinguished places in Damietta gov. overlooking the river Nile forming the third side of the triangular Ras el-Barr. On its sides one could see the fabulous social clubs and casinos designed according the latest fashions of architecture. The Guirby zone is considered one of the best places of natural therapy in Egypt, due to the dry sands that contain thorium substance useful in healing rheumatism through the process of submerging the infected limb into the sand.

Rosetta (Rashid) is located on the western bank of the branch of the Nile called “Rashid”, and is located 65km northeast of Alexandria.
It is thought that a Temple for Amon was built during the New Kingdom Period. In the Greco-Roman Period the city was called Balbotine and the Nile branch then was known as “the Balbotine Branch”

In the Islamic period, Rosetta was still known by this name, but it was less important than Alexandria. The Sultan Qaitbay built a fortress there, surrounded by ramparts for defensive purposes; the Sultan Al Ghouri later built a wall around the city.

After the Ottoman conquest in the 16th century, and after the decline of Alexandria, Rosetta became the principal port of the northern coast until the 19th century, but retained its importance serving the trade between Egypt, Turkey and other countries. Many Wikalahs and merchant houses were constructed.

Rosetta is considered as a large open-air museum for Islamic architecture. The great number of Islamic monuments found here does not exist in any other city, except for Cairo. Unfortunately most of these unique monuments are neglected, modern buildings surround them, and the unplanned urbanization also affects them badly, causing much damage. Therefore it is necessary for a great national effort to be made to save them, in order to revive the historical character of the city.

Today Rosetta’s worldwide fame is because of the finding of the “Rosetta Stone” during the French occupation of Egypt. In 1799, while extending a fortress near Rosetta, a young French officer named Pierre-Francois Bouchard found a block of black basalt stone. It measured 3ft 9in long, 2ft 4.5 in wide, and 11in thick, and it contained three distinct bands of writing. The most incomplete was the top band containing hieroglyphics; the middle band was in an Egyptian script called Demotic and the bottom one was in Ancient Greek. He took the stone to the scholars and they realized that it was a royal decree that basically stated that it was to be written in the 3 languages used in Egypt at the time.
Rosetta Stone:
Upon Napoleon's defeat, the stone had become the property of the English, under the terms of the Treaty of Alexandria (1801), as well as other artifacts that had been found by the French.
The stone was taken to England and copies were made so that other people could attempt to translate it.
Scholars began to focus on the Demotic script in the middle band, because it was more complete, and it looked more like letters than the hieroglyphic pictures in the upper band. It was essentially a shorthand version of hieroglyphics that had evolved from an earlier shorthand version of Egyptian called hieratic script.
Thomas Young (1773-1829), an English physicist, was the first to show that some of the hieroglyphs in the top band were the sounds of a royal name - Ptolemy.
Then the French scholar Jean-François Champlion (1790-1832) realized that the hieroglyphs were actually the sound of the Egyptian language and therefore laid the foundations of our present day knowledge of the Ancient Egyptian language and culture.
The houses of Rosetta      

Each house consists of 3 or 4 floors, with multi-level, wooden corbel ceilings for added strength. They were built of moulded, grouted bricks, and in the façade, for decoration purposes, these bricks were alternatively painted red and black. Also the Mashrapiyas and windows, of a different type of turned wood whether Sahrili or Maymouni, also decorate the façade.

Arab Killy House (the National Museum of Rosetta)

This is one of the most famous houses in Rosetta, and the biggest. It dates back to the 18th century (XII A.H) and was the residential house of Arab Killy who was an Ottoman governor of the city.