The ancient Egyptians were possibly the first civilisation to practice the scientific arts. Indeed, the word chemistry is derived from the word Alchemy which is the ancient name for Egypt. Where the Egyptians really excelled was in medicine and applied mathematics. But although there is a large body of papyrus literature describing their achievements in medicine, there are no records of how they reached their mathematical conclusions. Of course they must have had an advanced understanding of the subject because their exploits in engineering, astronomy and administration would not have been possible without it.
The Egyptians had a decimal system using seven different symbols.
1 is shown by a single stroke.
10 is shown by a drawing of a hobble for cattle.
100 is represented by a coil of rope.
1,000 is a drawing of a lotus plant.
10,000 is represented by a finger.
100,000 by a tadpole or frog
1,000,000 is the figure of a god with arms raised above his head.
(Click the image, above, to download images)
The conventions for reading and writing numbers is quite simple; the higher number is always written in front of the lower number and where there is more than one row of numbers the reader should start at the top.
Ancient Egyptian Mathematics Problems
This section is a brief test to see if you could survive in
the world of Egyptian numerals and mathematics.
Try the Maths Puzzle and win a desktop background of Seti I and Hathor based on
a painted bas-relief from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Writing
The Egyptian Math Worksheet Creator and Math Calculator
Make your own math puzzles
The Egyptian Math Worksheet Creator is base on the amazingly successful Ancient Egyptian Math Problems. These Math puzzles are used by thousands of teachers around the world and now with Worksheet Creator you can make your own math puzzles.