Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

Essay by Fluffy_WhaleMiddle School, 6th gradeA+, February 2004

download word file, 3 pages 2.7

Downloaded 62 times

The Ancient Egyptians had a very advanced mathematical system. They could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. They could find the area of a field and do basic algebra. They had textbooks to teach you math like the one Ahmes the Moon Born wrote called How to Obtain Information About All Things Mysterious and Dark (Also known as the Rhind Papyrus). They had Nilo-meters to measure the inundation of the Nile, a weight system to weigh grain, and a measuring system to measure fields. The main thing they didn't have was place value.

I will start with arithmetic. The Egyptian arithmetic was much harder than ours because half of it was guess and check and they didn't use place value.

Now I will do multiplication. Let us use 9X7 as an example. They multiplied by making two columns of numbers. The first column started with one and doubled with each row: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on.

The second column would start with 7 and doubled with each row: 7, 14, 28, 56, and so on. It should look like this:





You would then match the numbers across calling them "partners". Then you add up numbers in the first column that will give you the number you are multiplying by, in this case 9 so you add 1+8. Then you add the two numbers from the second column that are partners of the two numbers you added to get the first number. In this case, the partners of 1 and 8, which are 7+56. That should give you your answer if you did every thing right. Your answer should be 63, which if you multiply 9x7 is 63, right?

Next I will do addition. The Egyptians added by physically adding symbols, so you...