Egyptian Farming - Ancient Egypt for Kids -
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Egyptian Farming

egyptian farming model
(from the Louvre, Paris, France)

The Egyptians were one of the first groups on earth to begin farming, probably around 10,000 BC, but definitely by 5200 BC. At first people farmed by just digging a hole in the ground for each seed with a stick, as you do when you plant a vegetable garden in your back yard.

egyptian farming painting

But that's hard work, and slow. It is particularly hard in Egypt, because the heavy, clayey soil laid down by the Nile floods is hard to make furrows in. So by around 3000 BC people in Egypt had invented the animal-drawn plow, which made planting a lot easier. In the picture below you can see a man plowing a furrow with an ox while a woman scatters the seeds behind him.

When the grain was ripe, the Egyptians went out into the fields to pick it. Usually men cut the grain with a sickle, while women picked up the cut grain and tied it into bundles.


To find out more about Egyptian farming, check out these books from Amazon or from your library:

ancient agriculture everyday life in ancient egypt

Ancient Agriculture: From Foraging to Farming, by Michael and Mary Woods (2000). For middle schoolers, with plenty of information about how farming got started, and how it worked.

Farming & Food (The Ancient Egyptians), by Jane Shuter (1998). For kids.

Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt, by Lionel Casson (revised edition 2001). Not especially for kids, but pretty entertaining reading, and Casson knows what he's talking about

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Copyright 2012-2014 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated 2014. Powered by Dewahost.
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