Nile Delta

The Nile Delta ( ancient Egyptian Ta - Mehet ) (Arabic دلتا النيل ) is the delta of the Nile African dar. This river delta is located in Lower Egypt directly north (as seen from the river perspective below ) from Cairo on the coast of the southeastern Mediterranean.

The Nile from Lake Victoria to the mouth sets 5588 km back; from its farthest source at the Luvironza in Burundi there are a total of 6852 km.

The Nile Delta is the most famous river delta because it is also the term " delta " shaped, as it is the characteristic of the Greek letter delta ( Δ ) has derived triangular shape.

  • 2.1 Modern Places
  • 2.2 Ancient Sites



Approximately 25 km north of Cairo, the Nile fans out to about 24,000 km ² of the Nile Delta, after which it flows through the Nile finally flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Today, there are only two estuaries: the western and the eastern arm Rosette Damietta arm. They were taken to the cities rose and Damietta, which lie at their mouths, named. This fertile region of North Africa has about 60 million inhabitants. In antiquity, the notification was carried out both by the mouth of cities ( Canopus, Bobitine, Pelusium ) and after major cities, the further south in the delta on the respective arms were ( Sais, Sebennytos, Mendes, Tanis ).

The Greek historian Herodotus According existed in ancient times of the 6th and 5th century BC five natural estuaries ( Histories, Book 2 17). At that time, the Nile in the city Katadupa split into three main arms:

From the middle estuary Sebennytischen branched further arms from:

  • The Bucolic or Phatnische arm to the east ( artificial, ancient Mündungsort: ostium Phatnicum or Bucolicum, now Damietta arm), branched from him the Mende Maltese arm eastward ( ancient Mündungsort: ostium Mendesicum, silted up )

The Bolbitinische or Saitic arm ( Mündungsort: Bolbitine, ostium Bolbitinum, today Rosette) is not mentioned by Herodotus.

Pliny the Elder and Strabo ( Geography, 801) call a unanimous Phatnischen and a Tanitic estuary, but do not know any Saitic and no bucolic arm. The Saitic arm on which Sai is, corresponds to the Bolbitinischen arm, the arm Bucolic Phatnischen the arm. He mentioned a total of seven arms ( from east to west ), the Pelusi ( aki ) between, Tanitic, Mende -sian, Phatn (it ) ic (or Phatmetischen ) Sebennytischen, Bolbitinischen and Canopic ( Kanobischen or Herakleotischen ) arm or the Nile. It should be noted here that Pliny and Strabo, about 400 years after Herodotus lived, and naming himself transformed over time. In addition, the Nile Delta was subjected by the annual flood and mudflow associated to constant change.

So it was in Roman times seven main branches, from west to east, there were the:

The silting sat already in antiquity and was completed in Islamic times mostly.

The Aswan High Dam and its impact on the Nile Delta

Through the 1960-1971 built on Lake Nasser Aswan Dam, which holds back the suspended solids and sediment can progresses use not only the fertility of the fields in the 5 to 20 km wide valley below the dam after, he is also the reason why the Nile Delta will no longer continue to advance into the sea, but abraded by the surf.

Places in or on the Nile delta ( downstream )

A possible rise in sea level of the Mediterranean, which could be caused by global warming, can in a very short time can have fatal consequences for the Nile Delta. So can already cost their habitat a rise in sea of less than one meter, many millions of people.

Modern places

Ancient Sites