The river Nile still dominates the land of Egypt and was the main means of transport in ancient times. Each year the river would flood and deposit fertile mud on the riverbanks, ideal for growing crops. Yet the landscape was one of contrasts, with the fertile green banks of the river just next to harsh dry desert. People mainly lived near the river, while the dead were buried in the desert. The desert conditions of cemeteries have lead to the preservation of many objects buried with the dead.