The importance of the Nile River to the Ancient Egyptians was everything. The river was their life, literally. We know water is an importance source and without it life would perish, but for the Egyptians it had the status of a god. And rightly so. Its value was so highly prized, they had attached many gods to it.
The sun-god Ra, who would cross it daily in a boat ; Hapi, who personified the river; the goddess Tawaret, who took on the shape of the hippopotamus; Sobek, the form of a crocodile; and Heket, a frog. These gods were revered for their power in childbirth and fertility, this also included making the ground fertile and abundant for sowing crops. Then we have the lotus and papyrus plants that feature in many of the Ancient Egyptians artwork.
During the season of the Inundation (Akhet), layers of rich soil would be deposited on the flood-plain. The most impressive fact I came across while researching was how the Ancient Egyptians kept a record of the water levels. They used Nilometer, which is a series of steps they had built to measure the river’s height during the year. Herodotus, the Greek historian travelled to Egypt and, coined the phrase ‘Egypt gift of the Nile’ after seeing the great river.
In my story, the characters sail on the Nile to reach Thebes, however beforehand they stop at Memphis.