Upper and Lower Egypt

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Map of Lower and Upper Egypt

Ancient Egypt was divided into two regions, namely Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. To the north was Lower Egypt where the Nile stretched out with its several branches to form the Nile Delta. To the south was Upper Egypt, stretching to Syene. The two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were united c. 3000 BC, but each maintained its own regalia: the hedjet or White Crown for Upper Egypt and the deshret or Red Crown for Lower Egypt. Thus, the pharaohs were known as the rulers of the Two Lands, and wore the pschent, a double crown, each half representing sovereignty of one of the kingdoms. Menes was the one who conquered Upper and Lower Egypt and united them. To represent the union to the two lands, the double crown was formed.

The terminology "Upper" and "Lower" derives from the flow of the Nile from the highlands of East Africa northwards to the Mediterranean Sea, so Upper Egypt lies to the south of Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt mostly consists of the Nile Delta.