FACT: Following the Amarna period of the new Kingdom, around 1200 BCE, Egyptians invented a simple device known as the shaduf, which, using a fulcrum, lifted a water bag that enabled cultivators to irrigate the lands from the spring and summer low-water nile. Shadufs made it possible to grow winter crops, such as cotton and additional cereals.

Egypt: A Short History
Robert L. Tignor

Egypt: A Short History is a sweeping, colorful, and concise narrative history of Egypt from the beginning of human settlement in the Nile River valley 5000 years ago to the present day. Accessible, authoritative, and richly illustrated, this is an ideal introduction and guide to Egypt’s long, brilliant, and complex history for general readers, tourists, and anyone else who wants a better understanding of this vibrant and fascinating country, one that has played a central role in world history for millennia—and that continues to do so today.

“Robert L. Tignor’s ambitious Egypt: A Short History stretches from the Predynastic age to the present, tying the various periods together in a continuous 5,000-year narrative to create a lengthy history told in a short book. . . . Tignor writes with an easy, assured style, and his history becomes more focused and more authoritative as it progresses. He tells us it was conceived as an alternative guidebook for discerning tourists wishing to learn about more than just pyramids and pharaohs: as such—as an enjoyable book written by someone who clearly knows and loves Egypt and the Egyptians—it serves its purpose very well.”—Financial Times

“This is a masterpiece. In simple and accessible prose, Robert Tignor builds on his long and deep familiarity with Egyptian history, politics, and economy. The reader comes away with an understanding of what propels Egyptian history over the ages, and an appreciation of the key questions that beleaguer modern Egypt. This book will be of enormous value for general readers, students, and tourists.”—Khaled Fahmy, New York University

We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: