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The importance of irrigation, of the uninterrupted and fairly shared flow of water, is stressed in the affirmations the ba (the 'soul') makes before the gods of the Realm of the Dead The distribution of water between the periods of flooding was everybody's own business.

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Cows were generally used for ploughing, which caused their milk production to decrease during ploughing time.

A helper, often a child, led the animals, sometimes urging them on with a stick.

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

I was curious to learn why the Nile is flooding for a hundred days from the summer solstice; and when this time is passed, sinks again, and the river is low during the whole winter until the summer solstice again.

When the water level reached the mouths of the canals, the dams separating the canals from the river were opened and the basins and canals flooded.

When the highest water level was reached, one to two metres above the ground, the canals were stopped and the water left standing until it evaporated or was drained off during the next two months.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.It is certain however that now they gather in fruit from the earth with less labour than any other men and also with less than the other Egyptians; for they have no labour in breaking up furrows with a plough nor in hoeing nor in any other of those labours which other men have about a crop; but when the river has come up of itself and watered their fields and after watering has left them again, then each man sows his own field and turns into it swine, and when he has trodden the seed into the ground by means of the swine, after that he waits for the harvest, and when he has threshed the corn by means of the swine, then he gathers it in.The total amount of grain harvested depended on the surface covered by the flooding Nile, which was between perhaps 20,000 and 34,000 square kilometres.The boundaries of the fields were marked with boundary stones.

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