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Mythology and Agriculture in Ancient Egypt


            ´╗┐Throughout all cultures agriculture and mythology are irrefutably linked. The boon in crops is associated with the benefaction of the gods. Likewise, a plague or famine means the favor of the gods has been lost. The ancient peoples believed that the cause and effect relationship between the gods and their agriculture stemmed from praying to the gods, although they failed to understand the logical fallacies surrounding their ideologies. By examining the Egyptian culture, one of the earliest developed and recorded societies, it is possible to gain a deeper knowledge of the connection between the nation's agriculture and the mythological phenomena they used as explanations that they shared with many other cultures. .
             By far the most important agricultural aspect of Egypt was the Nile River, the longest river in the world. Their agricultural system was largely based around the river because the soil surrounding it was extremely fertile. In addition to naturally fertile soil, the land was naturally irrigated by the river as well. Each person only had to move approximately thirty cubic meters of soil for ten days every year and the natural canals had to be cleaned annually. Compared to how much effort went into farming in other regions, this is a staggeringly low amount of work. To further take advantage of the Nile, the Egyptians made use of their intelligence and efficiency. The Egyptians were incredibly efficient in maximizing the gift that was the Nile. They constructed dams that would open once water levels were high, close when the canals were filled, and then irrigate the land. Not only did the water from the Nile irrigate the land, but it also brought nutrients and deposited them on top of the soil. The water would then disappear once it evaporated, leaving only the healthy soil behind, creating a conducive environment in which to grow crops. Other farms required extensive plowing just to dig up nutrients, but the land along the Nile only required ploughing to plant the crops.


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