Egypt is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and
southwest corner of Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Most
of its territory of 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi) lies within the
Nile Valley of North Africa and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north,
the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red
Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, having been continuously
inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. Its monuments, such as the Giza Necropolis
and its Great Sphinx, were constructed by its ancient civilization, which was one
of the most powerful of its time and one of the first six civilizations to arise
independently in the world. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes,
Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological
study and popular interest from around the world. Egypt's rich cultural legacy,
as well as the attraction of its Red Sea Riviera, have made tourism a vital part
of the economy, employing about 12 percent of the country's workforce.