Upper Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - Upper Egypt

Facts about the history of the ancient Egyptians and the location, maps significance of Upper Egypt

Upper Egypt
Discover the history of the ancient Egyptians surrounding the area referred to as Upper Egypt. The main cities of are shown on the maps and provide the locations of important cities such as Thebes, Abydos, Thinis, Khmun (Hermopolis), Dendera, Hierakonpolis, Koptos, Edfu, Elephantine and Aswan. Read about the different religious cult centers of Upper Egypt where a variety of gods and goddesses were favored and worshipped. Upper Egypt had its own kings and
Pharaohs until the unification of Egypt c3100BC. Additional, interesting facts and information about the ancient Egyptians, and their mysterious gods and goddesses, is also available via:

Map of Upper Egypt
The following map shows the location of some of the ancient major cities and towns that were established on the banks of the River Nile in the south of the country.

Map of Upper Egypt

Map showing the ancient cities of Upper Egypt


The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses


Map of Upper Egypt
The Egyptian map shows the location of Upper Egypt and its approximate relationship to the area called Lower Egypt. The ancient Egyptians did not define the exact border between the two domains, however, the lands of the ancient country and civilisation based around Nile river stretched from the Mediterranean Sea right down to Aswan and its border with
Nubia (Kush), now Sudan. 

  • The Nile Delta region of the Lower kingdom, in the north, emptied into the Mediterranean Sea
  • The Nile Valley region of the Upper kingdom had higher altitudes and terminated at the First Cataract where the lands of Kush, or Nubia, began. Its boundary was traditionally held to be the First Cataract

The Ancient Cities of Egypt

Major Ancient Cities of Upper Egypt
The names of the major ancient cities of Upper Egypt are detailed below and can be located on the above map. For additional information and interesting facts refer to the Ancient Egyptian Cities.

Major Ancient Cities of Lower Egypt

Esna (Latopolis)
Khmun (Hermopolis)

Kom Ombo

Facts about Upper Egypt
Interesting facts about the history, geography and the gods and goddesses of the Upper kingdom are detailed in the Fact Sheet.

Upper Egypt Fact Sheet

Fact 1 on Upper Egypt:

Upper Egypt is a narrow river valley, the Nile Valley, with steep cliffs rising on either side.

Fact 2 on Upper Egypt:

The Nile Valley is home to the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the Pyramids, the Sphinx and stunning temples dedicated to the gods of the ancient Egyptians

Fact 3 on Upper Egypt:

Thebes was inhabited from around 3200 BC and is the site of the major temples of Luxor and Karnak.

Fact 4 on Upper Egypt:

The Aswan High Dam project threatened the Temples at Philae and Abu Simbel. The Temple of Isis on the island of Philae was transported to the island of Agilkia and the massive rock temples of Abu Simbel were moved 180 metres inland.

Fact 5 on Upper Egypt:

The White Nile brings a steady flow of water all year round, but the Blue Nile builds into a torrent after summer rains causing floods in the Nile Valley.

Fact 6 on Upper Egypt:

The River Nile would break its banks each year, saturating the surrounding countryside and a rich silt, alluvial soil, ideal for crop growing

Fact 7 on Upper Egypt:

Upper Egypt bordered on the land known as Kush also referred to as Nubia or Ethiopia and is now called Sudan.

Fact 8 on Upper Egypt:

The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Ayait and Sohag is sometimes known as Middle Egypt.

Fact 9 on Upper Egypt:

Upper Egypt was known as Ta Shemau which means "the land of reeds" referring to the papyrus that grew in abundance

Fact 10 on Upper Egypt:

It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes. The first nome was where modern Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih (Aphroditopolis), to the south of Cairo.

Fact 11 on Upper Egypt:

In approximately 3100BC, Upper and Lower Egypt were united when King Narmer  defeated the army of Lower Egypt.

Fact 12 on Upper Egypt:

The area next to the River Nile was called the 'black lands' further away from the river were the 'red lands'. Both were extremely important to the economy and civilisation of ancient Egypt.

Fact 13 on Upper Egypt:

The 'Black Lands' were the farming areas on the banks of the Nile.

Fact 14 on Upper Egypt:

The 'Red Lands' were the desert areas that protected Egypt on two sides and separated ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. They were also rich in raw materials such as stone and precious metals such as gold, silver and copper and semi-precious stones

Fact 15 on Upper Egypt:

Definition: Upper Egypt = Nile Valley region of the south. It consists of the entire Nile River valley from Cairo south to Lake Nasser which was formed by the Aswan High Dam

Fact 16 on Upper Egypt:

There were six cataracts along the River Nile. Only one cataract was in Egypt, at Aswan.  The dangerous cataracts consisted of rocky islets, waterfalls, whirlpools, or white water rapids

Fact 17 on Upper Egypt:

Egypt's southern boundary, at the southern edge of Upper Egypt, was traditionally held to be at the location of the First Cataract

Fact 18 on Upper Egypt:

The main city of predynastic Upper Egypt was Hierakonpolis or Nekhen whose patron deity was the Vulture goddess Nekhbet.

Fact 19 on Upper Egypt:

Abydos was the site of an Ancient Egyptian burial place of the early Egyptian pharaohs and was the mythical burial place of the god Osiris and his cult center. The royal monuments at Abydos include the Temple of Seti I

Fact 20 on Upper Egypt:

Each town had its own particular god and there were cult centers of the major gods

Fact 21 on Upper Egypt:

The cult centers of Upper Egypt were the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, the Triad of Thebes, the Triad Latopolis in Esna and the Triad of Elephantine (located near Aswan).

Fact 22 on Upper Egypt:

Papyrus was the symbol of Lower Egypt whilst the lotus flower was recognised as the symbol of Upper Egypt

Fact 23 on Upper Egypt:

Nekhebet was the vulture goddesses and another symbol of Upper Egypt

Fact 24 on Upper Egypt:

Coptus or Koptos was an important trading and religious center, its principal deities were Min, Isis and Horus.

Fact 25 on Upper Egypt:

Elephantine is an island in the River Nile situated at Aswan and was the cult center for the gods Khnum, Satet, Anuket and Hapi

Upper Egypt Fact Sheet

Abu Simbel


Upper Egypt

Facts and Maps about Upper Egypt

The location and border of  Upper Egypt

History and maps associated with Upper Egypt

Facts and information about Upper Egypt for schools, research and kids

Information, Maps and Facts about Upper Egypt


Upper Egypt - The Pharaohs
There were two pharaohs or kings, one that ruled Upper Egypt and the other that ruled the lands covering Lower Egypt. The pharaohs had their own regalia including a crown that was specific to the part of hat they ruled. The 'Hedjet' or White Crown for Upper Egypt and the 'Deshret' or Red Crown for Lower Egypt. In approximately 3100BC, the Lower and Upper domains were united and the crowns were combined in the Pshent crown that symbolized a united kingdom.

  • The Red Crown was called the Deshret the symbol that represented the Lower kingdom in the north

  • The White Crown was called the Hedjet, the symbol that represented the Upper kingdom in the south

  • The Pshent was the red and white Double Crown that represented a unified country

Red Crown of EgyptWhite Crown was called the HedjetThe Pshent was the red and white Double Crown

Lower Egypt (the North)

Upper Egypt (the South)

Unified Egypt

Upper Egypt Cult Centers (Thebes and Elephantine)
The most famous Egyptian gods and goddesses had political backing which led to large followings and cult centers. Priests vied for position and there were religious cults in both kingdoms before the country was unified. The names of the cults indicated the number of major gods worshipped in the cult and the location of the cult center. The major cults located in Upper Egypt were the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, the Triad of Thebes and the Triad of Elephantine (located near Aswan). The cult center of the Elephantine Triad was situated at Aswan standing at the border between Egypt and Nubia for the worship of Khnum, Satet the war goddess of the flood or inundation and their daughter Anuket, the goddess of the cataracts. The names of the gods and goddesses of the Triad of Thebes consisted of Amun, his consort Mut, the mother goddess and her son, Khonsu. The gods and goddesses of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis (Khmunu) consisted of 4 pairs of aquatic gods represented by frogs and the goddesses represented by snakes or cobras. The names of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis were Amun and Amaunet, Heh and Hehet, Kek and Keket, and Nun and Naunet.


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