Recommend to your Librarian

Request a Review Copy


Urban Histories on the Banks of a River

Nezar AlSayyad

Hardback (Forthcoming)

Narrates the history of cities that appeared and disappeared on the banks of the river Nile over four millennia

  • Includes descriptions of individual buildings, archaeological sites, urban areas and their histories
  • Brings a new perspective to a much studied history and geography of the Nile basin
  • Focuses on urban space by anchoring specific events in cites along the Nile
  • Analyses the interplay between the natural, cultural and economic aspects of the Nile basin
  • Beautifully illustrated with 100 colour photographs and 14 colour maps

The Nile, the world’s longest river system, has figured prominently in historic events over millennia. This book views the Nile as both the stage on which these events occurred and as an actor in its unfolding history. It explores the intersection of natural forces and human intervention to take readers on a series of historical journeys along the river, from its sources to the Mediterranean Sea. Each chapter focuses on a particular historical period and the cities, events, important figures and the encounters between groups and cultures that shaped it.





Prologue: The Urban Life of a River

Chapter 1. Finding the Source of the Nile: Centuries of Discovery

Chapter 2. Birth of the Nile: Water Carves a Path through Rugged Land

Chapter 3. The Nile of Lower Egypt: Memphis, the First Capital City

Chapter 4. Thebes of the Pharaohs: The Nile of Upper Egypt

Chapter 5. Avaris and Akhetaten: Temporary Capitals on the Nile

Chapter 6. Nubia on the Nile: The Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs in Napata and Meroe

Chapter 7. Alexandria: Greeks and Romans on the Western Edge of the Nile Delta

Chapter 8. A Nile Oasis in the Sahara: Fayoum of the Ptolemies

Chapter 9. Cairo: The Thousand Years Capital on the Nile

Chapter 10. Crusaders on the Nile: Damietta and Mansoura

Chapter 11. Cities of the Blue Nile: Lake Tana and the Ethiopian Empires

Chapter 12. Rosetta and the Discovery of Ancient Egypt: Where the Nile Meets the Sea

Chapter 13. Khartoum and Omdurman: An Islamic State on the Nile in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Chapter 14. A Pyramid for the Living: The Nile at Aswan

Epilogue: On the Possible Death of the Nile and the Life of Its Cities

About the Author

Nezar AlSayyad is an architect, planner and urban historian. He is Professor of Architecture and Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Faculty Director of the Centre for Arab Societies and Environment Studies for two decades. He has published numerous books including, most recently, Cairo: Histories of a City (Harvard University Press, 2011) and Traditions: The Real, the Hyper and the Virtual (Routledge, 2014).

You might also like ...