Egyptians then practiced a form of recession agriculture, planting winter crops in the mud left behind by the receding river.
In the twentieth century, people have increased their control of the river.
To the north is the Mediterranean Sea, and to the east the Red Sea.
Egypt is separated from Libya and North Africa by the western desert, from Palestine and Israel by the desert of the Sinai Peninsula, and from the centers of population in the Sudan by desert except along the narrow Nile River.
It is an article of faith in contemporary Egypt that agriculture and settled life should spread beyond the confines of the Nile Valley.
Major efforts have been made to "reclaim" land on the fringes of the Nile Valley, particularly east and west of the Delta.
There are a few small linguistic minorities, of which the largest is the Nubians, who speak two Nubian languages (Kenuz and Mahas) related to the Nilo-Saharan languages of the Sudan.
They represent less than 1 percent of Egypt's population, and are concentrated around Aswan.According to the Egyptian Human Development Report 1997-98 , life expectancy at birth in Egypt was 66.7 years, up from 55 in 1976.Infant mortality was 29 per 1,000 live births in 1996.It can refer to either the whole country or the capital city.The name itself is an icon, spoken, written, or sung. The overwhelming majority (over 90 percent) are Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims.This culminated in the construction of the Aswān High Dam, completed in 1971 but which first held back the floodwaters in 1964.