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Upper Egypt


Upper Egypt is a narrow that extends from the cataract boundaries of modern-day Aswan to the area between El-Aiyat and Zawyet Dahshur, south of modern-day Cairo. The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Aiyat and Asyut is sometimes known as Middle Egypt.

Upper Egypt was known as Ta Shemau which means "the land of reeds." It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes. The first nome was roughly where modern Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih (Aphroditopolis), just to the south of Cairo.

The main city of predynastic Upper Egypt was Nekhen (Greek Hierakonpolis), whose patron deity was the vulture goddess Nekhbet. For most of pharaonic Egypt's history Thebes was the administrative centre of Upper Egypt. After its devastation by the Assyrians its importance declined. Under the Ptolemies the city of Ptolemais took over the role of capital of Upper Egypt.

Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown Hedjet, and its symbol was the flowering lotus.

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