History About Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

Ancient Egyptian mathematics was closely tied to their religious beliefs and their advanced knowledge of astronomy. The Egyptians believed that numbers and mathematics were fundamental to the creation and order of the universe. They used mathematics for everything from building temples and tombs to calculating the movement of the stars and planets. The Egyptians also had a complex system of measurement. They used a system of units based on a standard measure of length known as the cubit.

The cubit was divided into smaller units, such as the digit and the palm. The Egyptians also had a separate system of measurement for volume. Based on the capacity of containers like jars and basins. Interestingly, the ancient Egyptians did not use any symbols for mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Instead, they relied on verbal descriptions and pictorial representations. For example, the operation of addition was described as “to put together” or “to gather”. While the operation of multiplication was described as “to double” or “to increase”.

In addition to

The Rhind and Moscow papyri, other important sources for Ancient Egyptian mathematics include the Berlin Papyrus, the Akhmim Wooden Tablet. The Lahun Mathematical Papyrus. These texts provide insight into the development of Egyptian mathematical knowledge over time. As well as their sophisticated approach to problem-solving.

One of the most important papyrus sources for Ancient Egyptian mathematics is the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. Which dates back to around 1650 BC. It contains 84 different mathematical problems. Including calculations of area and volume, solutions for linear equations, and ways to solve problems involving fractions. Another important papyrus is the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus. Which dates back to around 1850 BC. It contains both mathematical and non-mathematical texts. The mathematical texts include calculations for determining the volume of various objects. Such as pyramids and cylinders.


Ancient Egyptian mathematics laid the foundation for many concepts we use in modern mathematics, such as rational numbers, algebraic expressions and geometry.