In ancient ages, Egypt was considered as one of the forest zones, due to the dense tree-cover extended over most of the lands. The production of the said trees was sufficient for pottery industry, plus other small mining industries that prevailed in these times, particularly during the period of the Nile flood on both banks of the river.
There are many justifications supporting this idea, mainly the excavations and the monuments found in Assiut governorate, Saqqara Necropolis and Tel AI-Amarna In Upper Egypt.
Also Sinai peninsula was very rich in its forest cover, and this is justified by the numerous names given to the dry valleys scattered on this desert.
Moreover, the historic records refer to the existence of a developed system for forest management in ancient Egypt, established during the 11th century A.D. to include the governorates of Beni-Swelf, Menya, Suhag and Asswan at the said era, where total area of the forest in the South of the valley exceeded 19 thousand feddans (8 Heetars).
Furtherinore, the said records refer to the fact that the highest rate of forest tree-cutting in Egypt took place during the Ayobeed Era (where more than 12,000 trees were cut down in a rather short time span, of which 9,500 In Qualiobeya governorate alone).
This proves that forest eradication was done by man and not due to the climatic or environmental changes.
THE FOREST HABITAT IN EGYPT, (Location & Area)
Egypt occupies the north-eastern corner of Africa between latitudes; 22 & 32 North, and altitudes 25 & 37 East. Its total area about 1.002,000 Km2., representing 3% of the total area of the African continent. ltís natural boundarles (borders) are, the Mediterranean from the North, the Sudan from the South, Lybia from the West, and Aqqaba Gulf, Red Sea & Palestine from the East.
Egyptís climate can be classified according to the three main zones:
The desert zone.
The semi-desert zone.
The Mediterranean climate is characterized by a hot-dry summer, and a warm winter. However, according to the climatic data, we find that the southern part of the country is characterized by its continental climate, where the range in temperature between day and night, or summer and winter is very wide. For instance, the temperature in summer time goes up to 42 and on winter it goes down to 13. While, the maximum temperature prevailing in the areas close or adjacent to the Mediterranean is about 30 in summer and 18 in winter.
Rainfall is very scarce, with an annual average of 10 mm., mainly during winter months, i.e., December & January, which is concentrated on the northern part of the country (between 150 - 200 mm.), and decreases gradually as we go southward reaching around 24 mm. on Cairo and as little as 1,5 mm. on Aswan.
It is high on the northern part of the country (between 70 - 72%) during summer months and decreases gradually upwards as we bead towards Upper Egypt till it reaches 13% in the south of the valley at Asswan.