The Egyptians depended on the annual flooding of the Nile to cover their fields with black silt and to irrigate their crops. They measured the flood to determine their taxes. They built canals and dams so that water could be transported from the Nile for irrigation and for drinking. The Egyptians created tools to help raise the water from the Nile to the surface of the fields.
Ancient Egyptians had several methods for transporting water including jugs, canals, and the shadoof, a counterbalanced sweep used to raise water. A sweep is a long pole which pivots on a high post and is used to lower and raise a bucket containing water from a river or canal.