Height: 54.000 cm
Length: 96.000 cm
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC)
A crude wooden plough, shod with bronze
Fields were prepared for cultivation after the annual inundation of the River Nile had receded in October. Once boundaries and irrigation ditches had been restored, the fields were ploughed and sown with food crops and with flax for linen and other products. The crop was often sown at the same time as the ploughing, thrown down in front of the oxen so that the seeds would be ploughed in immediately. Other crops such as onions and cucumbers were grown on a smaller scale, often at the edges of fields, irrigation ditches or the Nile itself.
The crude construction of the plough was partly due to the lack of wood in Egypt. This meant that basic tools had to be made out of whatever wood was available. The form of this plough is very similar to that of ploughs used in Egypt, and indeed in many countries, today. Bronze was used to tip the ploughshare, so that it could cut through the soil, but the light construction of the plough shows how easy it must have been to turn the fertile silty soil.
M. Stead, Egyptian life (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)