Ancient Egyptian Farming Tools

The basic tools of agriculture, the ax, the hoe, the plow, are independent Egyptian inventions.  The prototype hoe can be seen as a modification of a forked branch, while the more developed form has a hafted wooden blade .  The plow was at first a modification of the hoe, originally drawn through the ground, perhaps first by a man with a rope, but by the Old Kingdom drawn by a pair of oxen .

Ancient Egyptian Farming Tools

  Later metal plowshares were added.  In the New Kingdom handles were lashed by ladder-like cross pieces and the shaft was bound to a double yoke over the oxen’s horns . Sowing followed plowing.  Often the sower scattered seed in front of the plough, so that the oxen treaded it in while fine seed as flax was shaken directly into the furrows .  If the seed was sown after flooding , sheep, goats, or swine, were driven to tread in the seed .

 Seeding technology was described by Herodotus as follows: “… for they have not the toil of breaking up the furrow with the plough, nor of hoeing, nor of any other work which all other men must labor at to obtain a crop of corn; but when the river has come of its own accord and irrigated their fields, and having irrigated them has subsided.


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