Ancient Egypt Engineers

"They were superior to anything known to the Greeks, Romans, or to Europe"


Engineers

Section targeting


Ancient Egypt Engineers

They were superior to anything known to the Greeks, Romans, or to Europe before the Industrial Revolution; only our time has excelled it, "and we may be mistaken."

Senusret III, for example, built a wall twenty-seven miles long to gather into Lake Moeris the waters of the Fayum basin, thereby reclaiming 25,000 acres of marsh land for cultivation, and providing a vast reservoir for irrigation.

Great canals were constructed by engineers , some from the Nile to the Red Sea; the caisson was used for digging, and obelisks weighing a thousand tons were transported over great distances.

Ancient Egypt Engineers

If we may credit Herodotus, or judge from later under-takings of the same kind represented in the reliefs of the Eighteenth Dynasty, these immense stones were drawn on greased beams by thousands of slaves, and raised to the desired level on inclined approaches beginning far away.

Machinery was rare because muscle was cheap.

See, in one relief, eight hundred rowers in twenty-seven boats drawing a barge laden with two obelisks; this is the Eden to which our romantic machine-wreckers would return.

Ships a hundred feet long by half a hundred feet wide plied the Nile and the Red Sea, and finally sailed the Mediterranean.

On land goods were transported by human muscle, later by donkeys, later by the horse, which probably the Hyksos brought to Egypt; the camel did not appear till Ptolemaic days.

The poor man walked, or paddled his simple boat; the rich man rode in sedan-chairs carried by slaves, or later in chariots clumsily made with the weight placed entirely in front of the axle.




You may also be interested in...


From Engineers, Return to Life in Ancient Egypt

Please return to Home Page