Egyptian Irrigation

The History of Egypt for Kids - Egyptian Irrigation

The Civilization, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about ancient Egyptian Irrigation systems

Ancient Egyptians - Egyptian Irrigation
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about Egyptian Irrigation. Discover fascinating facts and information about ancient Egypt and Egyptian Irrigation.

The annual flooding of the River Nile and the different seasons

Irrigation systems used on farms in ancient Egypt

The shaduf (aka shadoof), the sakieh and the nilometer

Basin Irrigation

Canals, ditches and dams

Methods of Irrigation

Tools used for irrigation

An overview of Irrigation of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians - Egyptian Irrigation
Click a link for additional information and interesting facts about subjects relating to farms and Irrigation or other aspects of daily life, the people and places of ancient Egypt.

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Ancient Egyptian Daily Life

Egyptian Irrigation
Learn about ancient Egyptian Irrigation that enabled the ancient Egyptians to produce abundant crops producing immense wealth for the nation.

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Irrigation Fact Sheet

Fact 1 on Egyptian Irrigation: 90% of Egypt is desert or semi-arid land. The flooding of the Nile River was benign, predictable, and timely. The annual inundation of the River Nile enabled Irrigation possible surrounding the banks of the Nile river, an otherwise barren desert region.

Fact 2 on Egyptian Irrigation: The annual inundation of the River Nile enabled Irrigation possible surrounding the banks of the Nile river, an otherwise barren desert region.

Fact 3 on Egyptian Irrigation: The earliest Egyptians settled on the banks of the Nile and soon appreciated that if water could be channelled from the river Nile to the barren areas it would fertilize the soil making it possible to extend their farming lands.

Fact 4 on Egyptian Irrigation: The Nile river broke its banks each year, saturating the countryside with a rich, fertile silt that was ideal for crop growing. The water also filtered the land of various salts.

Fact 5 on Egyptian Irrigation: Too little water would cause famine, and too much water would limit the sowing of fresh crops.

Fact 6 on Egyptian Irrigation: The design of the irrigation system depended on knowing in advance the height of the annual flood.

Fact 7 on Egyptian Irrigation: The Ancient Egyptians developed a system of "Nilometers" at various points along the Nile valley.

Fact 8 on Egyptian Irrigation: Nilometers were used to predict the volume and measure water levels in the inundation of the Nile, indicating catastrophes such as floods or famine (see picture of a Nilometer below).

Fact 9 on Egyptian Irrigation: The Nile offered a rapid communication system and early warnings of the height of the flood as it rolled downstream from the south made a huge difference to the size of the harvest.

Fact 10 on Egyptian Irrigation: The ancient Egyptians kept official yearly records annually recording the water level of the Nile. The oldest levels record flood are found on the Palermo Stone on which 63 Nile water levels were recorded. 

Fact 11 on Egyptian Irrigation: According to Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, Egyptians "get their harvests with less labor than anyone else in the world." 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Irrigation Fact Sheet

Ancient Egyptian Nilometer

Ancient Egyptian Nilometer

Egyptian Irrigation
Discover fast, interesting fun facts about farms in ancient Egypt for kids with some amazing, cool and quick information about Egypt and the ancient Egyptians. Ideal for children, homework, schools, teachers and kids of all ages! Find fascinating fun facts about farms, tools and farm animals for kids and the history, culture and civilisation of the ancient Egyptians and ancient Egypt. Interesting, fun facts about Egyptian Irrigation for research, schools, students and kids of all ages.

Egyptian Irrigation Tools
Learn about Egypt the fast and easy way via the Egyptian Irrigation Fact sheet.

Sakieh Water Wheel

Sakieh Water Wheel

Ancient Egyptian Shaduf

Ancient Egyptian shadooff (aka shaduf)

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Irrigation Fact Sheet

Fact 12 on Egyptian Irrigation: Additional farm land was made available by the development of different forms of irrigation systems and irrigation methods so that the water from the River Nile could be introduced inland to fertilize additional lands producing more annual crops.  

Fact 13 on Egyptian Irrigation: Methods of irrigation: The farmers in ancient Egypt dug trenches to divert water from the Nile to  bordering lands. Soon, man-made ditches, dykes and canals crossed the farmlands.

Fact 14 on Egyptian Irrigation: In ancient Egypt, the construction of waterworks, canals and land reclamation projects were of major importance to the pharaoh and the government.

Fact 15 on Egyptian Irrigation: Methods of irrigation: At the entrance of the canals the farmer would have a wooden dam that was used to control the water flow. The earth was then moved to other parts of the farm to be used for basin irrigation.

Fact 16 on Egyptian Irrigation: Basin irrigation was the method by which water was trapped in basins that were surrounded by low mud walls. Basin irrigation allowed the ancient Egyptians to control the rise and fall of the river to best suit their agricultural needs. Basin irrigation provided water throughout the different seasons.

Fact 17 on Egyptian Irrigation: In engineering terms it was a relatively easy task for the ancient Egyptians to arrange for a good water flow through several basins in succession, controlled by simple gates.

Fact 18 on Egyptian Irrigation: Water was allowed to stand in the fields for between 40 - 60 days. The water was then was drained off the crops at the correct point in the growing cycle. The water would then drain downstream back into the river.

Fact 19 on Egyptian Irrigation: Dams and reservoirs: The ancient Egyptians used dams and reservoirs to store water for the dry seasons of the year.

Fact 20 on Egyptian Irrigation: Methods using the sakieh water wheel: The ancient Egyptians used water wheels (sakieh) to lift water from the River Nile. Oxen or humans powered the sakieh.

Fact 21 on Egyptian Irrigation: Methods using the shadoof: The shadoof was introduced to the ancient Egyptians by the Hyksos foreign rulers during the 15th Dynasty. The shadoof was a tool that was used to raise water above the level of the Nile which was then diverted to a canal or ditch.

Fact 22 on Egyptian Irrigation: The shadoof was a simple wooden tool consisting of a pole with a bucket on one end and a weight on the other but its introduction revolutionized the Irrigation techniques of the ancient Egyptians.

Fact 23 on Egyptian Irrigation: The shadoof is commonly called a well pole, well sweep or simply a sweep.

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Irrigation Fact Sheet

Egyptian Irrigation
Learn about Egypt the fast and easy way via the Egyptian Irrigation Fact sheet.

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Irrigation Fact Sheet

Fact 24 on Egyptian Waterway: It takes about 20 liters of water to irrigate one square meter of land for one day. Use of the shadoof made this relatively effortless

Fact 25 on Egyptian Waterway: Using the shadoof the Ancient Egyptians managed to get two crops a year, a massive advance in the field of irrigation.

Fact 26 on Egyptian Waterway: The ancient Egyptians undertook a massive waterway diversion project  over 4,000 years ago.

Fact 27 on Egyptian Waterway: The waterway diversion project began at present-day Asyut. A large quantity of the Nile waters used to go to the region of present-day Faiyum - see map below.

Fact 28 on Egyptian Waterway: The Fayoum Oasis lies below sea level, and contains Lake Qarun, a catchment basin for the Nile overflow, and once filled the entire Faiyum region.

Fact 29 on Egyptian Waterway: The precious, fertile Nile silt was deposited on the bottom of the lakebed. The ancient waterway diversion project caused the diversion of millions of gallons  and the flow of water into the lake was reduced. A series of waterwheels were used for this water project.

Fact 30 on Egyptian Waterway: As a result of this a massive waterway diversion project, about 80% of the original Lake Qarun area was reclaimed and used as a new, rich agricultural area.

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Irrigation Fact Sheet

Egyptian Irrigation
Learning about the ancient Egyptians inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The information and facts about Egyptian Irrigation will provide you with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.

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