Water World - A Bountiful, Parallel, Aquatic World
The Water World of the Nile floodplain developed in archaic times in parallel to the rain-fed agriculture of the savannas. The floodplain was then at least half covered by savanna vegetation and thicket with only 3,000 sq. miles of agricultural land irrigated by the flood from annual inundations. And so it continued for centuries with grain largely produced in quantity by farming communities in such places as Hierakonpolis in the south and El-Omari in the north.
With time, as the summer rains failed and the rain-fed areas contracted, deserts appeared in Egypt. But, the Water World acted as a great natural buffer, a sustainable reserve that could be cleared and developed to make way for the irrigated world of Pharonic times, a period that began with the arrival of water-lifting techniques.
Unlike the wadis and brackish marshes of the rain-fed sector that were overgrown with grass reeds and rushes, the Water World supported many freshwater areas with tall papyrus stems in quantity. United by water during the flood, the Water World spread out among the 130 natural basins of the floodplain reaching well into the waterways of the Delta.