Upper and Lower Egypt
Settlement of ancient Egypt took place for the most part along the narrow flood plain of the Nile. Farms and villages developed in linear fashion along this 4000-mile-long river passage, which stretches from Nubia in the south to the Delta region bordering on the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Egypt is bounded on the west and the east by desert. Ancient Upper Egypt, relating to the concept of "up river," reached from the cataracts, or rapids, of the Nile to Memphis. Lower Egypt, or "down river," reached from Memphis, where the Delta began, and spread throughout the tributaries of the Delta to the Mediterranean Sea. The first pharaoh to have united the "two lands" of Upper and Lower Egypt was said to have been King Narmer in 3000 b.c. Thereafter the pharaoh of Egypt was represented wearing a double crown (cat. no. 50a) that combined the white crown of Upper Egypt (cat. no. 26) and the red crown of Lower Egypt (cat. no. 51). Other symbols of the unification of the two lands are combined on the royal regalia: from Lower Egypt, the cobra or uraeus and from Upper Egypt, the vulture.