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The whole population took part and on big estates journeying harvesting teams were employed.

These itinerant reapers began the season in the southern part of the country and followed the ripening crops downriver.

I could not learn anything about its nature, neither from the priests or from anyone else.

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Moreover, do thou come to the field with corn, for we will begin the ploughing in the morrow morning." In most countries heavy ploughs have to be used to turn over the soil, so that the growing plants get enough nutrients, but in Egypt the Nile flood deposited the nutrients on top, and the ploughing served just to break up the top soil before sowing or for covering the seed afterwards.

The Egyptian plough was lightly built and tied to the horns of the cattle.

Once the main canals, many of them natural, were in place, they just had to be dredged yearly to prevent their clogging up; the levees had to be raised, and smaller ditches had to be re-excavated.

When the Nile is overflowing, it floods the Delta and the lands called Libyan and Arabian, for a distance of a journey of two days from both banks in places, and sometimes, sometimes less.

The river water was diverted into canals on either side of the Nile.

At the time of the highest flooding (towards the end of September) most of the Nile Valley was covered with water, only villages and cities, built on higher ground and connected by dams, were above water.

The rights to water were as important as the land it was intended to irrigate. 2nd year of Inaros, 6th century After the transliteration and German translation on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae web site G.

During the Late Period at least these rights could be sold like any commodity: You have satisfied my heart [with the] money for this third of "water day" (of) the water of the children of Hr-tb [(? Vittmann ed., Demotische Textdatenbank, Akademie für Sprache und Literatur Mainz = Now at the time of ploughing his elder brother said unto him, "Let us make ready for ourselves a goodly yoke of oxen for ploughing, for the land has come out from the water, it is fit for ploughing.

When draft animals were unavailable, humans would pull the plough or one might try to borrow some cows as did Sarapion when he wrote to his most esteemed Antonius Minor sometime in the second century CE: I write to you now, therefore, most esteemed friend, first to salute you and my lord Ammonianus and all your kin, and then to ask you by all means to lend me through Morion's men three full-grown cows, fine and large in body, since I am about to plow land that has lain fallow. In order that you may accomplish this for me with dispatch, I beg you to let me know their price, and I will send it to you from here. Because the handles of the hoes were very short (a feature of these tools even today in southern countries), this was back-breaking work.

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