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Topic – Rivers of Life

Read the Following Selection

Read about the rivers of life, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.


Rivers of Life

Thousands and thousands of years ago, humans lived in small groups. They travelled to find food and shelter. Then they started to live in larger and larger groups. They began living in one place and growing some of their own food. Most of the places where these people settled were near or on rivers. Why?

The Nile River

The Nile River flows through five countries in Africa. One of these countries is Egypt.

One of the oldest civilizations in the world began in Egypt. Most of Egypt was desert, but the Nile River created a green space along its banks. The land around the river was very flat. The river flooded every year from water that came rushing down from mountains in another country. After the flood, people planted their crops in the thick mud left behind. The mud was very good for growing crops. These crops provided food for the people and their animals. People fished in the river and caught birds for food. The river also provided transportation. People could use boats to travel from town to town to trade.

The Indus River

The Indus River

The Indus River starts in the Himalayan Mountains. It flows through what is now Pakistan. The Indus River is in a very dry area. One of the earliest civilizations in the world began here, just like in Egypt. The river flooded at least once a year. It brought good soil along with it, and left the soil behind. This soil was excellent for farming. The flooding also provided water for irrigation. Farmers grew crops such as melons, wheat, peas, and cotton. Historians believe that there were more than 1500 settlements in the valley created by the Indus River.

The River Thames

The River Thames

Great cities also began on rivers. London, England, is one example. London is on the River Thames. The city was first built by the Romans. It was called Londinium. After the Romans left, people continued to live in and move to London. The river provided people with transportation. Ships could come in from the sea, and goods could be moved into England. So London became an inland port and a major trading city. Many crafts people lived and worked in London because it was easy to ship what they made to the rest of England and other parts of the world.

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