Ancient Egypt Transportation

Ancient Egypt Transportation One of the biggest factors in ancient Egypt becoming such a thriving civilization was its accessibility to the outside world. Alexandria was located directly on the Mediterranean.

The sea and all the other major cities were right off the Nile River which emptied directly into the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt’s proximity to these water supplies allowed for easy transportation by way of boats to the entire civilization. They also had direct trade routes via roads through North Africa and into what is now the Middle East.

Boats were the main way of transportation for both travelers and trade in ancient Egypt. Small boats called skiffs, were mostly used for transportation and by tradesmen with smaller loads of goods. Skiffs were made from papyrus reeds that were tied together. The papyrus plants were filled with air pockets, making them a very buoyant material. Therefore it floated easily.

For main trade routes and large loads of goods, wooden ships with sails were used by merchants for transportation. While traveling downstream, the sails allowed for fast, efficient transportation. When the ships had to travel upstream, they would lower the sails, rely on the current, and use oars to paddle.

Although skiffs and ships were the main means of transport and travel in ancient Egypt, the

land was also an important way of transportation. Most people traveled by foot, but donkeys and oxen were vital to the transportation of goods, as well as for farming the land. Sometime during the first millennium BCE, camels became a commonly used way of transportation due to their ability to withstand high temperatures and for being able to travel for long periods without water.


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