Ancient Egyptian Agriculture.

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Ancient Egyptian Agriculture

There are many valid points to be made in Ancient Egyptian agriculture. Irrigation, ploughing and planting, harvesting, and of course, crops. These will be some of the subtopics I will be touching upon in this essay of ancient Egyptian agriculture.


When the Nile is overflowing, it floods the Delta and the lands called Libyan and Arabian, for a distance of a journey of two days from both banks in places, and sometimes, sometimes less. I could not learn anything about its nature, neither from the priests nor from anyone else. I was curious to learn why the Nile is flooding for a hundred days from the summer solstice; and when this time is passed, sinks again, and the river is low during the whole winter until the summer solstice again.

-Herodotus, Histories 2,19

Above, is a quote from a man recovered from an article of writing back in the ancient Egyptian times. Irrigation is a form of re-routing water, to parts of land that the water is needed, in farming terms. For Example, there are two crops, one crop is getting all the water, and it's flooding. With irrigation, the farmer will re-route the water towards the other crop, as well as sharing the water with the crop that was being flooded. So now, both crops are getting enough water and they are not flooding nor suffering from drought.

Natural river irrigation shaped the early landscape of ancient Egypt. Drainage was not required for the Valley to become liveable. With the natural flooding and draining of the floodplain, the annual flood allowed a single crop-season over two-thirds of the alluvial ground. Once the main canals, many of them natural, were in place, they just had to be scoured yearly to prevent their clogging up. The levees had to be raised, and smaller ditches had to be re-excavated. Organized by the regional authorities, every Egyptian had to move about thirty cubic metres of soil in about ten days every year. With this relatively...
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