Discuss The Major Concepts In Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

Education News | Jul-30-2023

Discuss The Major Concepts In Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

The advanced system of mathematics used by the ancient Egyptians was essential to many facets of their culture, including building, engineering, astronomy, and trade. The ancient Egyptians created a practical and intuitive method for resolving issues in daily life, despite their use of mathematics not being as broad or abstract as contemporary mathematics.
The following are some key ideas from ancient Egyptian mathematics:

A system of hieroglyphic characters was utilized by the ancient Egyptians to represent numerals. These symbols, which were based on multiples of ten, came in a variety of forms, from straightforward strokes to more complex representations of bigger numbers.

1. Base-10 System:
The base-10 principle served as the foundation for the Egyptian number system. Similar to the decimal system we use today, they utilized symbols for powers of 10. They did not, however, have a sign for zero, which complicated several computations.
The Egyptians were proficient in simple mathematical operations like addition and subtraction. They performed using basic algorithms. often involving the decomposition of numbers into smaller units.

2. Division & Multiplication:
In ancient Egyptian mathematics, the division was based on a succession of halving and doubling techniques. Repetition of subtraction, which is effectively the opposite of how they multiplied, was used to accomplish division.
The Egyptians frequently represented fractions with unit fractions, which had a numerator of 1. Such unit fractions as 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 were written with the hieroglyph for one above the numeral. Due to its importance in surveying and building, practical geometry received a lot of attention in ancient Egyptian mathematics. They had an understanding of area and volume concepts, which were crucial for building pyramids and other structures.

3. Pythagorean Triples:
The traditional (3, 4, 5) triple is one of the Pythagorean triples that the Egyptians were aware of. These triples were applied in building and architectural designs.

4. Calculations For The Calendar:
To precisely establish the length of the year, the Egyptian calendar, which was based on astronomical observations, required complex mathematical calculations.
Land surveying and measurement were crucial for setting boundaries and calculating taxes. The Egyptians measured land areas and evaluated agricultural output using useful geometrical techniques.

5. Writings For Solving Problems:
Numerous problem-solving writings and papyri have retained ancient Egyptian mathematical notions. The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, which includes mathematical issues, answers, and useful applications, is the most well-known of them.

The primary goal of ancient Egyptian mathematics was to serve the requirements of their civilization. It was a practical and applied discipline. Their contributions established the foundation for later mathematical breakthroughs in other ancient cultures and finally for the growth of mathematics as a whole, even though they lacked the abstract notions and rigorous proofs of contemporary mathematics.

By : Abhiyash Maheshwari