The shaduf was used throughout the ancient world as a means to water crops. Its still used today in some parts of the world.
The egyptians built mud-brick reservoirs to trap and hold the water. These reservoirs lead out to a network of irrigation canals that filled with water during the flood and were refilled from the reservoirs using the shaduf. To lift the water from the canal they used a shaduf. A shaduf is a large pole balanced on a crossbeam, a rope and bucket on one end and a heavy counter weight at the other. The counter weight helped to offset the weight of the water being lifted. By pulling the rope it lowered the bucket into the canal. The farmer then raised the bucket of water by pulling down on the weight. He then swung the pole around and emptied the bucket onto the field.