Elio Nenci, "The Water Lifting Devices and the Origin of Ancient Mechanics: Shādūf and Pulley", in: Jonas Berking (Ed.), Water Management in Ancient Civilizations, Berlin: Edition Topoi, 2018, 71–85
Scholars have not paid much attention to the shādūf and they often describe it without studying the historical developments of the mechanical principles upon which its functioning is based. However, this water lifting device plays a very important role in the emergence of some basic concepts of mechanics: equilibrium and the law of the lever. This paper looks at the history of these concepts in relation to the use of the shādūf and pulley. It allows us to identify a set of basic principles that we can find both in theoretical works (the oldest surviving text is the Pseudo-Aristotelian Mechanical Problems 300 BC) and in books more focused on the practical applications of such principles.
Jonas Berking (Ed.), Water Management in Ancient Civilizations, Berlin: Edition Topoi, 2018