Rivers, or large natural waterways, have been used by man since prehistoric times. Remains of early man, such as those found by Louis Leakey in Kenya, have often been located in or near what had been river beds, as have pieces of flints used by prehistoric man during the Stone Age. The river provided water and fish; it was also an ideal place to hunt for animals that came in search of water.

Early towns and cities seem to have arisen alongside rivers, with the civilizations of Sumer, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient China all being heavily connected with rivers. By this time, people were growing crops and water was necessary to properly irrigate fields. It was also needed to provide water for domesticated animals, and as ...

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