Egyptian Shadoofs

Want to learn more about Egyptian Shadoofs? Read on for facts and info on this ancient irrigational device developed by the Egyptians many years ago…

Ancient Egyptian mythology would have you believe that the Egyptian civilization was very unscientific. However Egyptian scientists were known for their great observation skills and the way they utilized their observation and practical engineering. The pyramids themselves are classic examples of the engineering skills of the Egyptians. Another unique invention that came about at the hands of Egyptian scientists is the agricultural tool popularly known as the Egyptian Shadoof.

The Construction Of Egyptian Shadoofs

The shadoof is one of the oldest irrigation tools that performs a highly advanced function. Basically this machine was composed of a lever that was attached to a long wooden pole. The poll itself was mounted so that it could easily pivot in an upwards and downwards direction. In terms of its physical appearance the Egyptian shadoof resembled the catapult although it was not meant to perform the same function.

The shadoofs were primarily used on the River Nile which was the main source of water for irrigation land in Egypt. In order to make use of this device a bucket had to be attached to one of its ends which was the one that faced the river. A bag full of rocks or sand would be attached to the other end in order to serve as a counterbalance. This helped to lighten the weight of the water bucket when it was full of water and hence made it easier to rise. This was an important function because the River Nile used to be rushing with water and lifting the bucket of water out of the rushing water was a very difficult task.

The development of the Egyptian shadoof was a big boost for irrigation in the lands surrounding the Nile. The device was so effective that a slightly advanced shadoof based on the same method is still in use on the River Nile today. An important thing to note is that the water that was derived in this manner was used for two purposes. On the one hand it would facilitate agriculture and on the other hand it would be used by the farmers for personal purposes as well as for the animals that were being bred on the farmlands.

In fact it was more popular for facilitating the farmer than it was for facilitating agriculture. This is because agricultural land would be so vast that it would take hundreds of buckets of water to fulfill the requirements of the crops. Nonetheless by making life easier for the farmers the Egyptian Shadoofs did serve to promote agricultural activity on the lands on both sides of the river Nile.

The Egyptian Shadoof is lauded for its simplicity yet optimal execution. It was an easy to construct device that enables every farmer to take advantage of this discovery.

In fact it was more popular for facilitating the farmer than it was for facilitating agriculture. Today students are made to create small specimens of this ancient Egyptian invention as part of their science class projects.


( 3 assessment, average 3.33 from 5 )