Atbarah River

Atbarah River

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Atbarah River

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The Atbarah River (; transliterated: Nahr 'Atbarah) in northeast Africa rises in northwest Ethiopia, approximately 50 km north of Lake Tana and 30 km west of Gondar. It flows about 805 km (500 mi) to the Nile in north-central Sudan, joining it at the city of Atbarah (). Its tributary, the Tekezé River, is perhaps the true upper course of the Atbarah, as the Tekezé follows the longer course prior to the confluence of the two rivers (at 14° 10' N, 36° E) in northeastern Sudan. The Atbarah is the last tributary of the Nile before it reaches the Mediterranean.

For much of the year, it is little more than a stream. However during the rainy season (generally June to October), the Atbarah rises some 18 ft (5 m) above its normal level. At this time it forms a formidable barrier between the northern and central districts of the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Besides the Tekezé, important tributaries of the Atbarah include the Shinfa River which rises west of Lake Tana, and the Greater Angereb which has its source north of the city of Gondar.

The earliest surviving mention of the Atbarah is by Strabo (16.4.8), who called the river the "Astaboras", which Richard Pankhurst argues should be understood as "Asta of the Boras people" or "River of the Boras people", and points to a number of Roman allusions to a people named the Bora, who lived near Meroe.Richard Pankhurst, The Ethiopian Borderlands (Lawrenceville: Red Sea Press, 1997), p....
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