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Suez Canal

January 28, 2011 by USA Post 

Suez Canal, The Suez Canal is a waterway artificial sea level in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea. Opened in November 1869, allows water transport between Europe and Asia without having to navigate around Africa. The northern terminus of Port Said and the southern terminus are at Port Tawfik Suez City. Ismailia is located on its western shore, 3 km (1.9 mi) north of the halfway point.

When built, the canal was 164 km (102 miles) long and 8 m (26 ft) deep. After several expansions, the canal is 193.30 km (120.11 km) long, 24 m (79 ft) deep and 205 meters (673 ft) wide from 2010. It consists of the access road north of 22 km/14 miles, the canal itself km/100.82 162.25 mi and the access channel south of 9-km/5.6 mi.

It is single track with passing places in Ballah By-Pass and the Great Bitter Lake. It contains no locks; flow of seawater freely through the channel. In general, north of the Bitter Lakes Canal runs north and south in winter in summer. Southern Lakes current changes with the tide at Suez.

The channel is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Under international treaty, it can be used “in time of war as in peacetime, by any vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.”

Former east-west canals have facilitated travel from the Nile to the Red Sea. A small channel is supposed to have been built under the auspices of one or Senusret II Ramses II. Another channel may include a portion of the first was built during the reign of Necho II and completed by Darius.

The legendary Sesostris (probably either Pharaoh Sesostris II or Senusret III of the XII dynasty of Egypt) has suggested may have started work on an old canal joining the Nile to the Red Sea (1897 BC-1839 BC). (It is said that in ancient times the Red Sea to the North reached with the Bitter Lakes and Lake Timsah.)
French cartographers have discovered the remains of an ancient canal north south past the east side of Lake Timsah and ending near the north end of Great Bitter Lake in the second half of the 19th century. (The former, on the other hand, the channel may have followed a course along the shores of the Red Sea when the Red Sea once extended north of Lake Timsah.) In the 20th century, extending northward this ancient channel was discovered, which stretches from the Great Lake Timsah to Ballah, which was then dated from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt by extrapolating the dates of ancient sites erected along its course. However, it remains unknown whether this is the same as Sesostris old canal “and whether it was used as a waterway or as a defense against the East.

The reliefs of the Punt expedition under Hatshepsut 1470 in British Columbia represent seagoing vessels carrying the expeditionary force returning from Punt. This led to the suggestion that, at the time, was a navigable link between the Red Sea and the Nile. Everything seems to indicate its existence by British Columbia in the 13th century at the time of Ramses II.

Remnants of an ancient canal east-west, crossing the ancient Egyptian city of Bubastis, the Pi-Ramses, and Pithom were discovered by Napoleon Bonaparte and his senior engineers and cartographers in 1799.

According to the stories of the Greek historian Herodotus, about 600 BC, Necho II undertook to dig a canal to the west east through Wadi Tumilat between Bubastis and Heroopolis, and perhaps she continued Heroopolite to the Gulf and Red Sea. Regardless, Necho is reported as having never completed his project.

Herodotus said that 120,000 men perished in this undertaking, but this figure is probably exaggerated. According to Pliny the Elder, the extension of Necho the canal was about 57 English miles, equal to the total distance between Bubastis and the Great Bitter Lake, which wound up through the valleys she had to pass through. The length that Herodotus tells us, over 1000 stadiums (ie more than 114 miles) must be understood as including the entire distance between the Nile and the Red Sea at that time.

With the death of Necho, the work was interrupted. Herodotus tells us that the reason the project was abandoned due to a warning received by an oracle that others would benefit from its success. In fact, the war with Nebuchadnezzar II Necho probably prevented the channel must be pursued.

Darius I of Persia, who conquered Egypt, finally completed Necho project. We are told that by the time of Darius passage of natural water that existed between the Gulf and Red Sea Heroopolite near the Egyptian town of Shaluf (alt. Chalouf or Shaloof), located just south of the Great Bitter Lake, became so crowded that Darius silt needed to clarify so as to enable navigation again. According to Herodotus, Darius canal was wide enough that two triremes could pass each other with oars extended, and required four days to cross. Darius commemorated his achievement by a number of granite stelae that he created on the Nile bank, including one near Kabret, and another a few miles north of Suez. Darius entries as follows:

“Darius the king said: I am a Persian. From Persia, I conquered Egypt. I ordered this canal dug by the river called the Nile that flows in Egypt, the sea that begins in Persia. When the canal was dug as I ordered, ships went from Egypt through this canal to Persia, even as I wanted. ”

The left channel of the Nile at Bubastis. An inscription on a pillar Pithom records that in 270 or 269 BC was again reopened by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. In Arsinoe, Ptolemy built a lock waterway with locks in the Gulf Heroopolite Red Sea allowing the passage of ships, but prevented salt water from the Red Sea to mingle with fresh water in the canal.  [via wikipedia and various sources]

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