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Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and is composed of the lands on both sides of the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
that extend
downriver Downriver is the unofficial name for a collection of 18 cities and townships in Wayne County, Michigan, south of Detroit (strait) , nicknames = The Motor City, Motown, Renaissance City, City of the Straits, The D, D- ...
between
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
and
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
in the north. In ancient Egypt, Upper Egypt was known as ''tꜣ šmꜣw'', literally "the Land of Reeds" or "the
Sedge The Cyperaceae are a family of graminoid (grass-like), monocotyledonous flowering plants known as sedges. The Family (biology), family is large, with some 5,500 known species described in about 90 genera, the largest being the "true sedges" gen ...
land". It is believed to have been united by the rulers of the supposed
Thinite Confederacy The Thinite Confederacy is an Egyptological term for a hypothesized tribal confederation in ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile Ri ...
who absorbed their rival city states during
Naqada III Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (c. 4000–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon da ...
and its unification with
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
ushered in the
Early Dynastic period
Early Dynastic period
. Both Upper and Lower Egypt became imbedded within the symbolism of the sovereignty in Ancient Egypt such as the
Pschent Pschent, the double crown of Egypt The pschent (; Ancient Greek, Greek ''wikt:ψχέντ, ψχέντ'') was the double Crown (headgear), crown worn by rulers in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians generally referred to it as sekhem scepter, sekhem ...

Pschent
double crown. Upper Egypt remained as a historical distinction even after the classical period.


Geography

Upper Egypt is between the
Cataracts of the Nile The Cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths (or whitewater ( French Alps) , Central Finland between Sweden and Finland. Whitewater forms in a rapid context, in particular, when a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, ...
beyond modern-day
Aswan Aswan (, also ; ar, أسوان, ʾAswān ; cop, Ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ, Souan ) is a city in the south of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast ...

Aswan
, downriver (northward) to the area of El-Ayait, which places modern-day
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
in
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
. The northern (downriver) part of Upper Egypt, between
Sohag Sohag ( , ), also spelled as ''Sawhāj'', ''Suhag'' and ''Suhaj'', is a city on the west bank of the Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Sahara ...

Sohag
and El-Ayait, is also known as
Middle Egypt Middle Egypt () is the section of land between Lower Egypt (the Nile Delta) and Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt and is composed of the lands on both sides of the N ...
. In
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
, inhabitants of Upper Egypt are known as Sa'idis and they generally speak Sai'idi Egyptian Arabic.


History


Predynastic Egypt

The main city of prehistoric Upper Egypt was
Nekhen Nekhen ( egy, nḫn, ); in grc, Ἱεράκων πόλις Hierakonpolis ( either: City of the Hawk, or City of the Falcon, a reference to Horus Horus or Her, Heru, Hor, Har in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egypti ...
. The patron deity was the goddess
Nekhbet 250px, Nekhbet with staff and shen ring. Nekhbet (; also spelt Nekhebit) was an early predynastic local goddess in Egyptian mythology, who was the patron of the city of Nekheb (her name meaning ''of Nekheb''). Ultimately, she became the patron of ...
, who is depicted as a vulture. By approximately 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. Shortly after 3600 BC, Egyptian society began to grow and increase in complexity. A new and distinctive pottery, which was related to the Levantine ceramics, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time. The
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
n process of sun-drying
adobe Adobe (; ) is a building material Building material is material used for construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. ...

adobe
and architectural principles—including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect—became popular during this time. Concurrent with these cultural advances, a process of unification of the societies and towns of the upper Nile River, or Upper Egypt, occurred. At the same time the societies of the
Nile Delta The Nile Delta ( ar, دلتا النيل, or simply , ) is the delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), ...
, or
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
, also underwent a unification process. Warfare between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt occurred often. During his reign in Upper Egypt, King
Narmer Narmer ( egy, Wiktionary:nꜥr-mr, nꜥr-mr, meaning "painful," "stinging," "harsh," or "fierce catfish;" ) was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period (Egypt), Early Dynastic Period. He was the successor to the Naqada III, Protod ...

Narmer
defeated his enemies on the delta and united both of the kingdoms of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt under his single rule, which endured throughout Dynastic Egypt.


Dynastic Egypt

For most of Egypt's ancient history, Thebes was the administrative center of Upper Egypt. Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown ''
Hedjet Hedjet ( egy, ḥḏt "White One") is the formal name for the White Crown of pharaonic Pharaoh (, ; cop, ''Pǝrro'') is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Ho ...

Hedjet
'', and its symbols were the flowering lotus and the sedge. Its patron deity, Nekhbet, was depicted by the vulture. After unification of the two kingdoms, the patron deities of both Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt were represented together as the ''
Two Ladies In Ancient Egyptian texts, the "Two Ladies" ( egy, wikt:nbtj, nbtj, sometimes anglicized ''Nebty'') was a religious euphemism for the goddesses Wadjet and Nekhbet, two deity, deities who were Tutelary deity, patrons of the ancient Egyptians and wors ...

Two Ladies
'', to protect all of the ancient Egyptians, just as the two crowns became united throughout the dynasties that followed. After its devastation by the Assyrians, the importance of Egypt declined. Under the Ptolemies,
Ptolemais Hermiou Ptolemais Hermiou, or Ptolemais in the Thebaid The Thebaid or Thebais ( grc-gre, Θηβαΐς, ''Thēbaïs'') was a region in Roman Egypt, ancient Egypt, comprising the 13 southernmost nome (Egypt), nomes of Upper Egypt, from Abydos, Egypt, Aby ...
took over the role of the capital city of Upper Egypt.


Medieval Egypt

In the eleventh century, large numbers of
pastoralists Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, animal fiber, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and th ...
, known as Hilalians, fled Upper Egypt and moved westward into
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
and as far as
Tunis Tunis ( ar, تونس ') is the and largest city of . The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as "", has about 2,700,000 inhabitants. , it is the fourth-largest city in the region (after , and ) and the in the . Situated on ...

Tunis
. It is believed that degraded grazing conditions in Upper Egypt, associated with the beginning of the
Medieval Warm Period The Medieval Warm Period (MWP), also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum or the Medieval Climatic Anomaly, was a time of warm climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmos ...
, were the root cause of the migration.


20th-century Egypt

In the twentieth-century Egypt, the title Prince of the Sa'id (meaning ''Prince of Upper Egypt'') was used by the
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
to the Egyptian throne. Although the
Kingdom of Egypt The Kingdom of Egypt ( ar, المملكة المصرية, Al-Mamlaka Al-Miṣreyya, The Egyptian Kingdom) was the legal form of the Egyptian state during the latter period of the Muhammad Ali dynasty#REDIRECT Muhammad Ali dynasty The Muhamm ...

Kingdom of Egypt
was abolished after the
Egyptian revolution of 1952 The Egyptian Revolution of 1952 ( ar, ثورة 23 يوليو 1952), also known as the 23 July Revolution, was a period of profound political, economic, and societal change in Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic ...
, the title continues to be used by
Muhammad Ali, Prince of the Sa'id ) , birth_date = , birth_place = , death_date = , death_place = , resting_place = , resting_place_coordinates = , nationality = , other_names = , years_active = , notable ...
.


List of rulers of prehistoric Upper Egypt

The following list may not be complete (there are many more of uncertain existence):


List of nomes


See also

*
Sa'idi people A Ṣa‘īdī (, Coptic: ⲣⲉⲙⲣⲏⲥ ''Remris'') is a person from Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt and is composed of the lands on both sides of the Nile tha ...
*
Upper and Lower Egypt In Egyptian history The history of Egypt has been long and wealthy, due to the flow of the Nile River The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a na ...
*
Geography of Egypt The geography of Egypt relates to two regions: North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching ...


Explanatory notes


References


Citations


General bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Edel, Elmar (1961) ''Zu den Inschriften auf den Jahreszeitenreliefs der "Weltkammer" aus dem Sonnenheiligtum des Niuserre'' Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, , in German.


External links

* {{Regions of Africa States and territories established in the 4th millennium BC States and territories disestablished in the 4th millennium BC * Upper Historical regions