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There was always plenty of water, so salts never built up in the soil; and the flow in the canals and ditches was strong enough to avoid silting. Ditches and canals were short, and the typical irrigation scheme was very local.The ancient Egyptians dug a long canal called Bahr Yousuf to bring water from the Nile to the Faiyum Depression for irrigation.

Ancient Egyptian Canals

Ancient Egyptian Canals

Ancient Egyptian Canals

Egyptians developed a system of "Nilometers" at various points along the valley.This was helpful in comparing past and present water levels. Water storage was not attempted by the Egyptians. Water was transported in jugs as illustrated in many places.
 
The people were at advantage because of the natural restoration of fertility every year and irrigation did not occur to them as a difficulty. The shaduf was the water lifting device used by the farming population appeared after 1500 BC. It consists of a container made of animal skins or clay attached to a lever counterbalanced by stones.
 
The container is dipped into the river, when full it is lifted out and dumped into a canal. The shaduf by the museum can hold 20 litres of water. The fortunate people of Egypt made use of the timely flooding of the Nile, which indeed remains, for many number of decades, as a blessing to the valley.


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