Irrigation vs Ploughing

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Agriculture Pages: 3 (866 words) Published: February 5, 2013
Technological developments have repeatedly reshaped human societies throughout history. In my opinion, I think irrigation was the most significant technological innovation, as well with plowing in ancient Egypt. The Nile River would overflow every year, which would fertile the soil and enabled farmers to raise a huge food supply. The Nile River provided Egypt with water for irrigation and was Egypt’s main transportation route.

According to Ramachandran, irrigation is defined as the supplementation of precipitation by storage and transportation of water to the fields for the proper growth of agricultural crops. Irrigation helped the Egyptians in many positive ways. With the invention of canals it helped them harvest through the canals using boats, which also provided water for their crops and for their families. Crop rotation was also practiced during this time in which crops were yearly alternated on the same field. The purpose was to restore nutrients that had been used and depleted. In North America, Spanish and Americans built canals along the Rio Grande. With the development of agriculture, irrigation became more distinct in the Indus Valley. Egyptians utilized water from the Nile River for irrigation (Ramachandran). After irrigation, another technological development that reshaped history was the plow. Plowing is the process of turning over soil, so it stays fresh and high in nutrients so crops can grow nice and big. After farmers would plow, they then would normally insert plant seeds into the soil. Many tools were used to help the people of Egypt do their plowing and planting. The Egyptian plow was lightly built and tied to the horns of the cattle. Cows were generally used for plowing, which caused their milk production to decrease during plowing time. When draft animals were unavailable, humans would pull the plow. Hoeing was another way of loosening the soil. The handles of the hoes were very short which made it backbreaking work so they...

Cited: Jones, Alan. "A Brief History of the plough." History of the Plough. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct 2012. <>.
Leonard H. Lesko, "Egypt, Ancient," World Book Online Americas Edition, wbol/ wbPage/ na/ ar/ co/ 175060, October 5, 2001.
Ramachandran , V. "Benefits of Irrigation in Agriculture." Benefits of Irrigation to Agriculture. N.p., 06/27/10. Web. 12 Oct 2012. <
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