A Shaduf, was a device designed by the Ancient Egyptians to raise water out of a well or reservoir, to help with the irrigation of their land.
This hand operated piece of equiptment consisted of a long suspended wooden rod, which was balanced on a beam, with a bucket one end and counter weights at the other.
It was estimated that with minimal effort for the land farmers, they could easily lift more that 2,500 litres of water per day.
Through reading hieroglyphics on Egyptian tombs, archaelogists and historians have learned more about the daily lives of the Ancient Egyptians, which includes pictures of them using the Shaduf.
The Egyptians built reservoirs from bricks and mud which held the water during the flood season every June, then they used a connecting network of canal chanels to slowly release the water into. This is where the Shaduf came into use.
The shadufs would lift the water from the canal chanels which would aid the productivity and irrigate the crops, like barley and wheat, of the land during the drier seasons.
They designed the bucket of the shaduf to hold approximately 20 litres of water, this container device was made from either animal skins or clay.
Sometimes a shaduf was needed to raise water to a higher level, and therefore a construction of shadufs were mounted one on the other to achieve this, and these devices were called denkli, or paecottah.