then returned to canals that emptied into the Nile. The advantage of basin irrigation was that no further irrigation was needed for a winter crop of grain, and the silt, rich in organic matter and phosphates, made fertilization unnecessary. With fruit tree culture, permanent ponds were an important innovation and the ornamental gardens enclosing ponds testify to their widespread use by the wealthy. In addition, shallow wells, 4 to 35 m in depth, were dug to be replaced later by deeper artesian wells up to 380 m deep. The culture of fruit crops demands constant and controlled irrigation during the spring and summer drought. At first, irrigation was carried out manually with pots dipped in the rivers, carried on the shoulders with yokes, and poured into field channels. By the time of the New Kingdom (1500 to 1100 BCE), the shaduf, a balanced counterpoise, became the irrigating mechanism for gardens. Later, water lifting techniques included Archimedes’ screw, the sakieh or chain of pots, and siphons (Fig. 6).
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