It can be said that the story of ancient Egypt begins with the Nile River. Settlements along the Nile existed at least 2,000 years before Egypt’s first ruling dynasty was founded about 3100 bc. The earliest settlers along the Nile were nomads and pastoralists who grew barley on the fertile floodplain or fished and hunted. The Nile River basin served as the stage for the evolution and decay of an advanced civilization. The river itself enabled the descendants of these seemingly unexceptional people to build a civilization that would tower over the ancient world. This book helps explain how they did it and what it means for us today.