Features of irrigational agriculture in ancient Egypt
The level of development of agriculture from ancient times played a crucial role in the economies of countries. With the help of this branch of agriculture, the population was supplied and supplied with food and raw materials for various segments of the industry. That, in turn, has an impact on the level of development of states, the political situation and the well-being of citizens. In order to preserve the fertility of the lands and to obtain a stable harvest, various ameliorative measures are applied, including irrigation originated in ancient Egypt.
The concept of irrigation farming
The irrigation system of agriculture is understood as a specific technology for supplying water to territories occupied by different crops, to retain moisture near the roots, and, as a result, to increase soil fertility in order to increase the ripening of crops.
This type of irrigation is the most intensive.Irrigation farming is used in arid places of the planet and in the case of the need to supply moisture to cultivated plants. When growing crops (vegetables, rice, cotton, legumes, etc.), irrigation systems (canals, hydraulic structures) are being built.
This kind of farming provides for the collection of several crops annually, since it makes the growth of crops the most rapid and intensive. This, in turn, makes it possible to use land resources in the most expedient and efficient way.
The emergence of the irrigation system
Some of the most ancient irrigation systems of agriculture originated in the delta of the Nile River before our era. The ancient Egyptians noticed that when the spill of the Nile on the sowed areas are brought water and sludge, contributing to the stimulation of plant growth and high yields.
In those days, people began to dig special canals and drainage gutters to land plots. As a result, the water did not flood the entire territory, but flowed precisely into the necessary places. In addition, the Egyptians began to dig in special containers for the accumulation of water, which could be used after some time.This was very important, since the precipitation for a long time could not fall, and the Nile was the only moisture resource.
The development of irrigation agriculture in ancient Egypt
The life and economy of the ancient Egyptians directly depended on the development of agriculture. Therefore, irrigation farming in ancient Egypt was developed at a high level. This was true even in times of crisis. The most developed irrigated farming was at the Delta of the Nile. The soil here was the most fertile.
Land integration favored the construction and use of the irrigation network. Almost all the pharaohs focused on this issue. But the most impressive work on the development of irrigation farming was produced in the Nile Delta.
Basin type agriculture
Features of irrigation agriculture of ancient Egypt consisted in the fact that it was a basin type system. Water flowed continuously through the channels surrounding the cultivated soil. If necessary, it was passed directly to the grown plants. During the opening of the paths, the water poured all the allotment, which became like a pool.When the field was abundantly moistened, moisture was diverted through a special drainage channel.
The construction of a similar irrigation system allowed the landscape. During the flood period, the sludge settled in the most powerful layer on the coastal elevations of the Nile, but not in the lowlands. As a result, it became lower in some places. This circumstance led the locals to erect water catchments and water barriers in low-lying areas by organizing reservoirs of various sizes.
Before the flood, workers broke through small canals along the elevated banks of the river, through which water flowed into the basins. Then they let her into the fields. After waiting for sedimentation, the water was led back to the Nile. Thanks to river silt, the fields were saturated with moisture for a couple of months. This provided the fastest crop sprouts in the world.
Thus, in ancient Egypt, in the Nile Delta, an effective basin system of irrigation farming functioned, designed to ensure the longest water retention in the sown areas and increase crop yields. It was possible to build and use such an irrigation system only by joint efforts of the whole people.This had a great influence on the social structure and political system.
The role of the state economy
The basis of the economy of ancient Egypt were agriculture and crafts. The Nile River with its fertile silt was the foundation of the country's economic life. The soil allowed to harvest a bountiful harvest several times a year. The system of irrigation farming guaranteed a high gross yield of grain crops in the state. As scientists have calculated, one family of farmers was able to feed 3 more families due to the fertility of the soil.
Most ancient inventions
The rulers of the state kept under strict control the implementation of land reclamation activities, as a result of which the system of irrigation farming reached the highest level in Egypt. The Nile Valley was covered with canals, dams and dykes. The Egyptians mastered even those areas that did not reach the water when the river level rose. What did it do? Were invented simple devices by which the water rose above the level of the river.
The first civil engineers appeared in these parts, since technical and mathematical knowledge was needed to build irrigation systems.Without them, it was impossible to calculate the desired height at which the remaining water flowed up to a certain level spontaneously. Valuable information was recorded on papyrus and was administered by the priests.
Initially, farmers raised water in buckets made of leather. This method of watering was quite heavy. The first device, which greatly facilitated the rise of water, was a shaduf. He invented in the 3 millennia BC. The device was a lever, at one end of which a bucket was hung, and on the other, a counterweight. Many countries have borrowed this useful design, which is used today.
Also in the fourth millennium BC, the Egyptians invented a non-meter, allowing to predict the time of the Nile spill and the size of the flood.
Another very effective invention of the ancient Egyptians is a wooden wooden wheel with jars placed inside. A similar device in Egypt can be seen today.