Two irrigation systems, Egypt, c 1798.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustration of the shadouf and the mental, two methods of raising water to irrigate crops which have been in use in Egypt for thousands of years. From 'Description de l'Egypte, ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont ete faites en Egypte pendant l'Expedition de l'Armee francaise', (Paris, 1809-1830). The book, ('Description of Egypt' in English), documents Napoleon's (1769-1821) military and scientific expedition to Egypt in 1798. Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825) headed a group of the leading scholars, artists and scientists of the day who accompanied the expedition.