Listen to part of a lecture in a history class. The professor has been discussing ancient Egypt.
Ok, so one of the challenges that faced ancient civilizations like Egypt was timekeeping, calendars.
When you have to grow food for whole cities of people, it is important to plant your crops at the right time.
And when you start having financial obligations, rents, taxes, you have to keep track of how often you pay.
So today we will look at how the Egyptians addressed these problems.
In fact, they ended up using two calendars, one to keep track of the natural world, or their agriculture concerns, and another one, that was used to keep track of the business functions of the Kingdom.
So let's take a look at the hows and whys of one ancient Egyptian calendar system, starting with the Nile River.
Why the Nile? Well, there's no other way to put it.
Egyptian life basically revolved around the mysterious rise and fall of the river.
The success of their agriculture system depended upon them knowing when the river would change.
So, naturally, their first calendar was divided up into three seasons, each based on the river's changes: inundation, subsidence and harvest.
The first season was the flooding, or inundation, when the Nile valley was essentially submerged in water for a few months or so.
And afterwards during the season of subsidence, the water would subside, or recede, revealing a new layer of fertile black silt and allowing for the planting of various crops.
And finally the time of the year would arrive when the valley would produce crops, such as wheat, barley, fruit, all ready to harvest.
Ok, so it was important to the ancient Egyptians to know when their Nile based seasons would occur, their way of life depended upon it.