From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Upper Egypt is the strip of land, on both sides of the Nile valley, that extends from the cataract boundaries of modern-day Aswan north to the area between El-Ayait and Zawyet Dahshur (which is south of modern-day Cairo). The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Ayait and Sohag is sometimes known as Middle Egypt. The designation Upper Egypt is most frequently used as a division for Ancient Egypt. Modern inhabitants of Upper Egypt are known as Sa'idis; they generally speak Sa'idi Arabic.
Upper Egypt was known as Ta Shemau which means "the land of reeds." It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes. The first nome was roughly where modern Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih (Aphroditopolis), just to the south of Cairo.