Readers ask: When Did Egypt’s Dependence On Wheat Start?

Ancient Egyptian agriculture

Ancient Egyptians were among the first peoples to practice large-scale agriculture, thanks to the Nile River’s consistent seasonal flooding, which allowed them to grow staple food crops like grains as well as industrial crops like flax and papyrus.

The Nile and field planting

The Nile is the world’s longest river, flowing northward from Lake Victoria and eventually emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. It has two major tributaries: the Blue Nile, which originates in Ethiopia, and the White Nile, which originates in Uganda, and the Nile’s water levels are more predictable than those of other rivers like the Tigris and Euphrates.

Irrigation systems

Irrigation allowed Egyptians to use the Nile’s waters for a variety of purposes, including diverting floodwaters away from sensitive areas like cities and gardens to prevent flooding, as well as providing drinking water.

Basin irrigation

Egyptian basin irrigation allowed them to control the rise and fall of the Nile River by constructing a crisscross network of earthen walls in a field of crops that would be flooded by the river, trapping the water in basins formed by the walls when the floods came.


In addition to field planting in the floodplains, orchards and gardens were developed, which required more work because they were located further away from the Nile’s floodplain. These gardens and orchards were used to grow vegetables, vines, and fruit trees.

Food crops

Egyptians grew a wide range of crops for consumption, including grains, vegetables, and fruits, but their diets were centered on a few staple crops, particularly cereals and barley, as well as beans, lentils, and later chickpeas and fava beans.

Industrial and fiber crops

Egyptians used agriculture for more than just food; they used plants for medicine, religious rituals, and clothing production. Papyrus was a highly versatile crop that grew wild as well as cultivated, and flax was another important industrial crop with multiple uses.

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Ancient Egyptian cattle were divided into four types, with the earliest evidence dating back to the fifth millennium BC. In the New Kingdom, hump-backed zebuine cattle from Syria were introduced to Egypt, and they appear to have replaced earlier types.

Religion and agriculture

Religion was a huge part of daily life in ancient Egypt, and many of the Egyptians’ religious observances were based on their observations of the environment. They used religion to explain natural phenomena like the Nile’s cyclical flooding and agricultural yields.


Hapi, an overweight figure who made offerings of water and other abundant products to pharaohs, was created by the Egyptians to represent the inundation. The god Osiris was also closely associated with the Nile and the fertility of the land.

Notes and references

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, edited by Herman Kees (1961) and Jules Janick (2002), as well as Uclac’s “Religion in the Lives of the Ancient Egyptians,” contain some of the most well-known works on ancient Egyptian culture and agriculture.


Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: A Short History of Everyone for the Last 13,000 Years. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ancient Egyptian agriculture.

When did Egypt start growing crops?

Agricultural practices began in the Predynastic Period in Egypt (c. 6000 – c. 3150 BCE) in the Delta Region of northern Egypt and the fertile basin known as the Faiyum, but there is evidence of agricultural use and overuse of the land dating back to 8000 BCE.

Did ancient Egypt grow wheat?

Ancient Egypt’s civilization was dependent on the Nile River and its predictable seasonal flooding, which allowed them to grow staple food crops like wheat and barley, as well as industrial crops like flax and papyrus, thanks to their farming practices.

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How did Egyptians get wheat?

Egyptians may have discovered that emmer wheat suited the local climate or that the hulls protected the grain from pests in storage in the “fertile crescent” region of the Middle East, where wild populations of emmer wheat, a common species in early cultivation, still exist.

Where does Egypt get its wheat?

Wheat is grown throughout Egypt, including in the Delta, along the Nile’s banks, and in newly reclaimed areas.

Which crop is famous in Egypt?

Egypt also grows crops like barley, beans, rice, and wheat, as well as Egyptian Cotton, which is famous around the world. As a result, Egypt is known for growing Cotton, and Option C is the correct answer.

What is Egypt famous for producing?

Egypt is the world’s leading producer of long-staple cotton (1.125 inches [2.85 cm] and longer), accounting for roughly one-third of global production; however, Egyptian cotton production is a tiny fraction of global yield.

What grass crops did the first Egyptian grow?

Sorghum and millet were the first crops grown by farmers, and these grains could be ground into a powder and used to make porridge or beer.

Did corn exist in ancient Egypt?

Reapers cut the ripe corn with wooden sickles edged with sharp flints, and women and children trailed behind to collect any fallen ears of corn. Cattle trampled the cut corn to remove the grain from the ears.

How did ancient Egypt get water?

The ancient Egyptians built mud-brick reservoirs to trap and hold flood water, as well as a network of irrigation canals that filled with water during the flood and were refilled from the reservoirs, so they didn’t have to constantly get water from the river.

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Who were slaves in ancient Egypt?

Slaves played an important role in ancient Egypt as a large part of the labor force, but they were also employed for a variety of other tasks, including house servants, gardeners, farm labor, excellent musicians and dancers, scribes (those who kept written documents), and accountants.

Where does name Egypt come from?

The name ‘Egypt’ comes from the Greek Aegyptos, which was derived from the ancient Egyptian name ‘Hwt-Ka-Ptah’ (“Mansion of the Spirit of Ptah”), which was also the name of the city of Memphis.

What called hieroglyphics?

The word hieroglyph literally means “sacred carvings,” and the Egyptians used it exclusively for inscriptions carved or painted on temple walls at first. Hieroglyphics are the original form of writing from which all other forms evolved, including hieratic and demotic.

How much wheat does Egypt import?

According to a report by the US Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), Egypt’s wheat imports fell to 12.685 million metric tons in FY2019/2020 from 13.3 million tons the year before, a decrease of 615,000 tons.

What is the soil like in Egypt?

Egypt’s land is divided into five sections: the Western Desert, the Eastern Desert, the Sinai Peninsula, the Nile Valley, and the Nile Delta, each of which has 33 soil units with sandy areas and loamy sand/sandy loam soils covering over 57% of the surface.

What grows in Egypt?

Egypt is a country in Africa.

  • Rice is one of the most important field crops, with nearly 500 000 feddans planted, and is the second most important export crop after cotton.
  • Fibre crops.
  • Sugar crops.
  • Food legumes.
  • Forage crops.
  • Fruits.
  • Vegetables.

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