the Egyptian Farmer

An aerial photograph of farm plots along the Nile, things have not changed much since ancient times.

In ancient Egyptian society, as well as today, farming was very important. The farmer had to provide food for tradesman, leaders, and slaves. He worked very hard along the fertile Nile River Valley. This valley provided fine soil for raising grain, vegetables, and fruits.

The farmer had to follow a time schedule if he was to be successful. In July, when the water level of the Nile began to rise, the farmers had little to do. If he planted anything, it would simply be flooded. Therefore, he spent this time working for the Pharaoh on one of his building projects.

The water-level would go down in November. The farmers had to plow the soil very quickly while it was moist. After the fields were plowed and the furrows hoed, they planted the seeds. They then irrigated and checked the area for weeds while the crops grew.

The tax officials would visit the farms at this time. The amount of taxes to be paid was determined by measuring his crop. This was done by stretching a rope around the area where the crops were growing. By the end of March, the farmers were using sickles to reap the grain. The women would then toss the grain into the wind to remove the husk. Now the grain was ready to be stored for the flood season.

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