The Nilometer on
Elephantine Island, Aswan, southern Egypt.
The ancient Egyptians relied on floodwater at the beginning of the planting season, and they learned that its water makes the land more fertile and suitable for cultivation. Still, in some times when the flood comes severe, a large part of the agricultural quota is destroyed, or the water level decreases some times so that famine will spread throughout Egypt. When the ancient Egyptian understood this, he made what is now called a measure to know the Nile water level to predict the water’s movement and its level. On this basis, the area of ​​the land to be cultivated is determined and, accordingly, knowledge of the amount of harvest and the amount of taxes imposed on farmers, so the measure was considered from The most important administrative tools in Egypt.
The idea of ​​scale began as specific marks on the banks of the Nile, and the idea evolved into wells, then to a stairway with some marks, then placed a column in the middle of the stairs with many signs.
And due to the importance of the Elephantine scale, it is the first measure that records the beginning of the flood, as it is located in the south of Aswan, meaning southern Egypt, so it has a head start in knowing the quantity and strength of water.
It consists of a relatively long staircase, which ends at the Nile River, and on.
Its walls are markers to determine the water level.