Ancient Egyptians used math for various purposes such as measuring land, building pyramids, creating calendars, and solving everyday problems.
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Ancient Egyptians used math in numerous ways, and it was an integral part of their daily lives. They relied on mathematics for activities such as measuring land, building pyramids, creating calendars, and solving everyday problems.
One interesting fact is that the ancient Egyptians used a base 10 numerical system, which is still in use today. They also had a deep understanding of fractions, geometry, and algebra. In fact, they considered math to be a kind of magic, and it was closely tied to their religious beliefs.
According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Egyptian mathematics was dominated by arithmetic, with an emphasis on measurement and calculation in geometry.” In addition to using math in construction and surveying, they also used it to keep track of time. They used a calendar based on the cycle of the Nile River, which helped them plan their agricultural activities.
One example of ancient Egyptian math in action is the construction of the pyramids. The builders used geometry to ensure that the pyramid had a precise shape and that each block was cut at the proper angle. They also used arithmetic to calculate the necessary measurements for the pyramid’s height and width.
In conclusion, it is clear that math played a critical role in ancient Egyptian society. As the historian Kate Devlin notes, “It’s difficult to imagine any civilization, even today, functioning without mathematics.” The table below provides additional information on the use of math in ancient Egypt.
|Use of Math in Ancient Egypt|
|Solving everyday problems|
|Base 10 numerical system|
|Deep understanding of fractions, geometry, and algebra|
|Mathematics seen as a kind of magic|
|Calendar based on Nile River cycle|
|Used for agricultural planning|
|Geometry used in pyramid construction|
|Arithmetic used to calculate measurements|
- “Mathematics in Ancient Egypt.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/math/hd_math.htm.
- Devlin, Kate. “Math in Ancient Egypt: A Practitioner’s View.” The Guardian, 2 June 2011, https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2011/jun/02/mathematics-ancient-egypt.
Further answers can be found here
The ancient Egyptians utilized a numeral system for counting and solving written mathematical problems, often involving multiplication and fractions. Evidence for Egyptian mathematics is limited to a scarce amount of surviving sources written on papyrus.
In the history of mathematics, Egyptian algebra, as that term is used in this article, refers to algebra as it was developed and used in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian mathematics as discussed here spans a time period ranging from c. 3000 BCE to c. 300 BCE. There are limited surviving examples of ancient Egyptian algebraic problems.
“They made great contributions to modern mathematics. They discovered decimals, fractions, the number zero, negative numbers and even the value of Pi.“
The Egyptian were the first to develop a system of math based on ten. The below is a chart of what Egyptian mathematics numbers looked like and the symbols meaning.
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The use of mathematics in ancient Egypt was crucial for building structures like the pyramids and for keeping track of business transactions using a decimal system that only used numbers for multiples of 10. Writing numbers like 3 and 40 in this system required jotting down specific numbers of ones and tens. The symbol for one million was represented by a picture of a god with outstretched arms.
More interesting questions on the topic
How did Egyptians use math to build pyramids?
Most Egyptologists believe that the pyramids were built using the Egyptian royal cubit measurement, where a royal cubit = 7 palms and 1 palm = 4 digits (fingers) and which may measure 523.55 mm.
Why did the ancient Egyptians first use math and geometry?
Answer to this: Egyptian geometry refers to geometry as it was developed and used in Ancient Egypt. Their geometry was a necessary outgrowth of surveying to preserve the layout and ownership of farmland, which was flooded annually by the Nile river.
How did ancient Egyptians use science and math?
The response is: They devised a system of weights to help in the sale of products. Angles of pyramids and volume of columns were calculated with great accuracy. In addition, they knew how to calculate the area of squares, rectangles, and circles. Just as we do, ancient Egyptians divided circles into three hundred and sixty degrees.
What is the math behind the pyramids?
In reply to that: The theory is that the Great Pyramid is based on the application of a gradient of 5.5 sekeds. This measure means that for a pyramid height of 1 cubit, which is 7 palms, its base would be 5.5 palms. The ratio of height to base then is 7 divided by 5.5, which is 1.2727.