Ancient Egyptian Agriculture

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Life was very difficult back in the Ancient Egyptian times. Floods could have ruined crops, but they didn't. The Ancient Egyptians made pyramids and had animals to help get their jobs done. One of their jobs was to help farmers harvest and plow the fields. Throughout the Egyptian seasons, the farming and tools they used changed.

The Egyptians revolved all their farming around the Nile River. The Nile provided fertile soil and water for their crops. These are the seasons that they followed:

Akhet - The Flooding Season (June to September)

At this time the Nile River flooded all of their farm lands. Farmers built tools or fixed them, worked for their pharaoh, built temples or pyramids, and/or looked after their animals.

Peret - The Growing Season (October to February)

After the Nile decreased back to its river beds, the farm lands had rich or fertile soil, called black soil. It was ploughed and then seeded.

Shemu - Harvesting Season (March-May)

The adult crops were harvested quickly before the Nile flooded everything again. The slaves and farmers also repaired canals before the flood.

The main seasons were the growing seasons and the harvesting seasons which are the main seasons because they're busy and produce food which are vital to our survival.

In order for the fields to be harvested, farmers had tools to help them. Some of the tools include:

The Plow - In order to plow and sow the field the Egyptians made the ox-drawn plow, which was made in two sizes. The two sizes weren't small and tall or big and little, but simply heavy and light. The heavy plow, which went first, to make grooves for the seeds. Then the lighter plow went to turn up the earth. Both of the plows were pulled by oxen.

The Hoe - Farmers and Workers took hoes made by wood to break up the soil that wasn't already broken up. After they hoed the soil they sowed seeds in a row. Since wood was so expensive in Egypt the hoes were made with a tiny handel. Farmers knew that they would be spending all day bending down to hoe the fields because of how short the handel was.

Baskets - Farmers had baskets to help carry seeds instead of carrying the seeds by hand. Some farmers used multiple baskets, yet some were fortunate enough to have on large basket. The bigger basket had straps to put around their shoulders and then the basket would be in front of them. This would also allow them to have two hands to hoe and seed. With smaller, multiple baskets, farmers would have to carry multiple baskets, set them down, hoe, then seed, pick-up multiple baskets and then repeat that all over again and again.

The Egyptians always had their farm lands near the Nile River for irrigation purposes. They had their houses set on higher land but still by the Nile River and their farm lands. In the North, they had a settlement called Lower Egypt and in the South, a settlement called Upper Egypt. Those regions are called that because of the Nile Rivers' direction that it flows and the landforms. These regions were united in 3000 B.C.E. by King Narmer/Menes. Since the Nile's farm lands only make up 10% of Egypt's land, the Egyptians had to think smart of how to space things out and to get the water to every place. Every year in June or July the Nile River floods over its water beds. Although flooding may sound disastrous to us now a days, it helped the Egyptians in many ways! If the Nile River didn't flood, crops wouldn't grow because they didn't have water, then the people would starve and get dehydrated and die. Without the Nile River this wonderful civilization would have never been known.

Throughout the seasons of agriculture of the Egyptians, times varied. The tools they used also varied and all of the jobs changed when the Nile flooded. One small move could've been disastrous for the crops and people. Near the Nile River there were Egyptians who were able to live in a desert. The people of the Nile were able to live all because of two things: farming and the Nile River.

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Ancient Egyptian Agriculture. (2019, Jul 24). Retrieved February 29, 2024 , from

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