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EGYPT officially Arab Republic of Egypt country in northeastern Africa and southwestern Asia It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea on the east by Israel and the Red Sea on the south by Sudan and on the west by Libya The country has a maximum length from north to south of about 1085 km about 675 mi and a maximum width near the southern border of about 1255 km about 780 mi It has a total area of about 1001450 sq km about 386662 sq mi Cairo is the capital and largest city The land of the Nile River Egypt is the cradle of one of the worlds greatest ancient civilizations and has a recorded history that dates from about 3200 BC The descriptive material that follows is pertinent to modern Egypt The History section covers Egypt from ancient times including the Dynastic Period 3200 BC-343 BC the Hellenistic Period 332 BC-30 BC Roman and Byzantine Rule 30 BC-AD 638 the Caliphate and the Mamelukes 642-1517 Ottoman Domination 1517-1882 and British colonialism 1882-1952 as well as modern independent Egypt 1952- Land and Resources Less than one-tenth of the land area of Egypt is settled or under cultivation This territory consists of the valley and delta of the Nile a number of desert oases and land along the Suez Canal More than 90 percent of the country consists of desert areas including the Libyan Desert in the west a part of the Sahara and the Arabian Desert also called the Eastern Desert which borders the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez in the east The Libyan Desert also known as the Western Desert includes a vast sandy expanse called the Great Sand Sea Located here are several depressions with elevations below sea level including the Qattara Depression which has an area of about 18000 sq km about 7000 sq mi and reaches a depth of 133 m
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