Ancient Egyptian Mathematics Papyrus

The Ancient Egyptian Mathematics Papyrus refers to a set of ancient texts. That contain numerical and mathematical formulas used by the ancient Egyptians. There are several papyri that survive from ancient Egypt that deal with mathematics. The most famous of these is the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. Named after its Scottish collector, Alexander Henry Rhind. The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is believed to date back to the Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 BCE) and is currently housed in the British Museum. It is made up of many different mathematical problems and solutions. Including calculations involving fractions, division, and multiplication.

What makes the Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

Papyrus significant is its role in the development of mathematics as a formal discipline. The ancient Egyptians used mathematical concepts and calculations for purposes such as engineering, surveying, and commerce. They were good at solving complex problems involving arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Developed methods for solving equations and calculating areas and volumes.

One of the most interesting features of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is its use of hieroglyphics to represent numbers and mathematical operations. This made it challenging for scholars to translate and understand the papyrus for many years. However, advancements in understanding the hieroglyphic language of the ancient Egyptians, along with the work of scholars such as James Henry Breasted and Adolf Erman, helped to reveal the vast mathematical knowledge of the ancient Egyptians.

Some of the most impressive aspects of ancient Egyptian mathematics include their meticulous record-keeping and their ability to solve complex problems. For example, the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus contains solutions to problems involving the volume of a cylindrical granary. As well as calculations involving the dimensions of pyramids and other monumental structures.


The Ancient Egyptian Mathematics Papyrus provides invaluable insights into the mathematical practices and knowledge of ancient civilizations like Egypt. These documents demonstrate the incredible intellectual and scientific achievements of the ancient Egyptians.  Continue to inspire and fascinate scholars and mathematicians to this day.