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Ancient Egypt Water Technology

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Richard Meiners

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Ancient Egypt Water Technology

The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans
the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural
economy and a more sophisticated,
centralized society that became a cornerstone
in the history of human civilization. The Nile River The Nile Delta Ancient Egyptian Water Technology The Nile River has played a very important role in the civilization, life and history of the Egyptian nation. The Nile River has the ability to produce extremely fertile soil, which made is easy for cities to spring up alongside the banks of the Nile. The fertile soil is contributed to by the annual spring floods, when the Nile River overflows onto the banks, and deposits silt. Throughout most of the year, very little rain falls on Egyptian deserts. The abundant Nile River provided much needed irrigation, even in ancient times. This waterway also provides a source of drinking water, and the source of irrigation for farming as well as papyrus reed that could be use for a variety of purposes such as paper and building materials. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is where the Nile River drains in to the Mediterranean Sea. It is about 100 miles in length and spreads out over 149 miles of coastline. It is rich in agriculture and has been farmed for thousands of years. Annual Flooding Ancient Egyptians celebrated the arrival of the yearly flood which occurred from June to August, as the believed it was the gift of tears from the god Isis, rather that a disaster. They would use the area which annually flooded as farmland for their crops. Every year the banks of the Nile would overflow, and when the water receded, a thick layer of silt, rich in nutrients, was left behind to renew the soil. This flood cycle was so predictable that they even based their calendar on it! It became a crucial factor in their rhythm of live ,as the were a civilization strongly based on agriculture. Taming the Nile The Shadoof To lift water from the canal, Ancient
Egyptians used a shadoof. A shadoof
is a large pole balanced on a crossbeam,
a rope and a bucket on one end, and a
heave counter-weight at the other.
By pulling the rope, it lowered the
bucket into the canal. The farmer then
raised the bucket of water by pulling
down on the weight . He then swung
the pole around and emptied the bucket
onto the field. Once the floods receded and the fields dried, the plants would wither and die. The mud that Nile left behind needed lots of watering in the hot sun. The ancient Egyptians tried to trap as much flood water as possible so that they did not have to constantly carry water from the river to their fields Canals Dams and Levees Dams and levees are not the same thing. Dams are meant to control water constantly, but levees are built to control water during high water events, such as floods. modern shadoof The ancient Egyptians found ways to manage the river. They built canals to carry water from the Nile to the parts of the land the flooding water did not reach. They strengthened the river banks to keep the river from overflowing. "image courtesy of ancientvine.com"
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