Upper Egypt

The region of the Nile from Memphis (or the Faiyim) to about Asyut is frequently referred to as "Middle Egypt" in scholarship and can be analysed as a distinct geographical area. Book titles such as "Palaeolithic Living Sites in Upper and Middle Egypt" (Vermeersch 2003) and chapter headings within books e.g. "Egypt from Alexander to the Early Christians" show the term in current use. The latter work describes Middle Egypt as the Nile Valley between Beni Suef (just south of the Fayyim) and Sohag (the region south of Asyut) (Bagnall and Rathbone 2004, 155).

Middle Egypt is a boundary region between Lower Egypt (Fayyim and the Nile Delta) and Upper Egypt. It had its own distinct history as a consequence of its middle location. Lower Egypt built pyramids near Memphis while Upper Egypt had temples at Thebes. Middle Egypt had the capital of an Ancient Egyptian polity when Akhenaten founded el-Amarna.

More commonly, Middle Egypt was the buffer zone between strong Lower and Upper Egyptian polities. Hyksos political influence over Egypt stalled at about the Middle Egypt region. This might also be true for influence of later states e.g. Mamluks. A Middle Egyptian NGA might itself be separate from the Faiyum, which had urban settlement from 4000 BCE.

  • UTM zone: 36-R
  • World Region: Egypt
  • Area: 39,000 km2
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