Nile Floods and Political Disorder in Early Egypt

Fekri A. Hassan
Institute of Archaeology
University College London. UK
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The collapse of centralized government about 2200 BC (3700 uncalibraled radiocarbon years bp) coincides with reduced Nile flood discharge, invasion of the Nile Valley by dune sand, and possibly degradation of the Delta floodplain as revealed by proxy data in Egypt. At the same time lower lake levels a reduction of arboreal vegetation and onset of cooler conditions in equatorial Africa strongly indicate drier conditions that severely diminished water supply to the Nile tributaries. A dramatic dry episode in western Tibet influenced by reduced monsoon activity at 3800 bp suggests that the reduction of Nile flood discharge was a response to a global event influencing the ITCZ belt.