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Jepson Field Book Transcriptions · Jepson Herbarium

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Alexandria to Cairo

with other fields between being planted. Everywhere groups of peasants working in the fields, plowing, cultivating, sawing. Everywhere were a few animals, but only a few at a time, buffaloes and donkeys, feeding in the plots but always staked by a herdsman. Rarely one sees a small flock of sheep with a shepherd, the fleece dark brown, the heads of the sheep dark-colored.

All the fields are bordered by irrigation ditches. The water is lifted out by a water wheel, with cogs which fit into a horizontal wheel with cogs which is turned by lever set into an upright tree, the tree forked at the top and carrying the lever, the motive power being supplied by a
Jan. 31, 1926

blind-folded buffalo that moves in a circle. The whole device looks (and doubtless is) extremely primitive. The timbers, stakes or posts are made from unsawn trees. The whole human population appeared to be very busily at work on going somewhere along the rights of way. I saw no roads, in our sense, but only narrow dirt passageways, in no way looking ancient, between the fields. There was as I say an appearance of great industry. The primitive Buffalo plow team moves slowly but the came train moves rather rapidly - thought you get a contrary impression if you look at the legs only. The crop consisted og wheat or some similar grain, horse beans, and clover, and perhaps alfalfa, but I was not near enough to see.
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