Ancient Egypt Essay Examples

Essays on Ancient Egypt

Even to this day, if you mention Egypt the first thing many people think of is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Initially built to a height of 481 feet, consisting of approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone for a total weight of 5.75 million tons, it is no wonder this ancient building has captivated people for millennia.

Ancient Egyptian Civilization And Culture History
Words • 2276
Pages • 9
Ancient Egypt was one of the oldest cultures that ever existed. It was around 5000 years ago! This land flourished because of the Nile River. Its annual inundation created fertile lands that supported life. The Ancient Egyptian worshipped many gods like Re, (the sun god) Isis, Seth, and Horus. Ancient Egyptians had a supreme and powerful ruler called the Pharaoh. The pharaohs were considered to be a god of Egypt. The pharaohs ruled the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the…...
Ancient EgyptCivilizationCultureHistory
The Purpose of Myths In Ancient Egyptian & Greek Mythology
Words • 1135
Pages • 5
Mythology, though told through entertainment engenders culture and beliefs within a civilization. The concepts of such mythology are complex and ambiguous that each civilization could manipulate and reform a story into their own way. Especially due to oral tradition, many of these myths were based on word of mouth, thus details and concepts could have been altered or added. Myths of such nature close the gaps in domestic life with knowledge and faith. The concept of myths conceptualizes ideas to…...
Ancient EgyptGreek mythologyMythologyMyths
Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics: ‘Magical’ Makeup May Have Been Medicine for Eye Disease
Words • 597
Pages • 3
Summary: Christian amatore, philippe Walter, and colleagues had found the black-eye make-up that Queen Nerfertiti and other ancient Egyptians royals wore, might have protected them against some eye infections. Ancient Egyptians used these lead-based cosmetics for their eye make –up believing that they are ‘magical’. They think that the wearer of the make-up would earn them protection from ancient gods, against several illnesses. However, modern scientists largely dismissed that possibility, knowing that lead-based can be quite toxic. But it was…...
Ancient EgyptChemistryEgyptEyeMedicineWonder
Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper
Using Cosmetics
Words • 1043
Pages • 4
A survey showed that an average woman takes 300 hours applying makeup and spends an enormous $13,000 on it in her life time. Everyone wants to look and feel their best and that is one aspect that we as humans share in common. People often say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but if you really analyze it, beauty is in the eyes of society which was the case in Ancient Egypt. According to past records, aesthetic beauty…...
Ancient EgyptBeautyHistoryPeriodRenaissance Period
This delicate royal vessel was made by the ancient Egyptians
Words • 953
Pages • 4
This delicate royal vessel was made by the ancient Egyptians during the Old Kingdom, from approximately ca. 2289-2255 B.C. It bears the name of Pepi I and mentions his first heb-sed, which took place approximately thirty years into his reign. During this time period, such jars were commonly given as royal gifts, underscoring the king's preeminence and also distinguishing the person to whom they were presented. Gifts like these were preserved and taken with the utmost care since they were…...
Ancient Egypt
Hedyotis Corymbosa
Words • 833
Pages • 4
The ancient Egyptians of 3000-6000 years ago are credited with developing an elaborate and effective pharmacological collection of numerous curing materials obtained from natural resources (Robert 2005). According to the review report the oldest written evidence of medicinal plant usage for the preparation of drugs has been found on a Sumerian clay slab and it consist of drug prepared from 250 plants (Bilana, 2012). Documented studies states that the ancient doctors of India and Egypt prescribed the plant extracts and…...
Ancient EgyptBiologyHistoryMalariaMedicinal PlantsMedicine
These two sculptures provide insight into two cultures that are
Words • 708
Pages • 3
These two sculptures provide insight into two cultures that are highly different, yet share similar qualities. Although Khafre Enthroned and Kroisos, from Anavysos were built hundreds of years apart from one another and in two different parts of the world, they both provide insight to how and why art was created in ancient civilizations.To begin with, Khafre Enthroned, from Gizeh, Egypt was made from Diorite and can be found at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. One could tell that this piece…...
Ancient EgyptCulture
Yaritza Espinal World Art History
Words • 456
Pages • 2
Yaritza EspinalWorld Art History100-018Professor AmiriSeptember 29, 2019The Block Statue of Ay(New Kingdom)On my trip to the Brooklyn Museum I observed the Block Statue of Ay. The statue is made from limestone. Made in the New Kingdom, late dynasty XVIII, reign of Tutankhamun (circa 1336-1327a.c). It is presumably from Sumenu. Was assembled by Charles Edwin Willbour(1833-1896) in Egypt between 1830 and 1896. Art of the highest quality was available for sale and export from Egypt at this time. The statue arrived…...
Ancient EgyptArt HistoryBrooklynWorld
Industrial Sector Competitiveness and Regulations In the Mena
Words • 2587
Pages • 10
Abstract: This paper examine the industrial sector of each country and its competitiveness and regulations in the countries of Mena the aim to highlight the processes of trade and supranational integration through its requirements have astounding impact in enhancing the industrial competitiveness of Mena nations there is a brief overview on the structure and regulations in Mena countries giving careful consideration to the viewpoint connected to its industrial competitiveness , and the industrial policies expected to promotion the competitiveness of…...
Ancient EgyptCountrySaudi ArabiaWorld
A Comparison of Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian Societies
Words • 701
Pages • 3
Although Egypt and Mesopotamia were both early agricultural societies built upon the water provided by the major rivers which sustained them, they exhibited important differences as a consequence of the different physical environments in which they developed. In this paper I will first focus on what I consider to be the major aspects of these differences in environment and then explore the consequences of these differences in their religious beliefs, political organization and commercial practices. A major difference in physical…...
Ancient EgyptComparisonMesopotamia
Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilization
Words • 913
Pages • 4
Many ancient civilizations developed as a result of the Neolithic Revolution, or the turning point in which the utilization of systematic agriculture created societies. Two civilizations, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, both transformed into civilizations by changing from nomadic hunter-gatherers to agriculture and trade civilizations. Both civilizations were created as a result of the same revolution, but they still differ in numerous ways. Egypt and Mesopotamia had similarities and differences in religion, social and political structure, and geography. These variations shaped…...
Ancient EgyptCivilizationMesopotamiaMesopotamian Civilization
Ancient Egyptian Religion Seen Through Art and Architecture
Words • 756
Pages • 3
These compositions demonstrated not only a style of art never before seen, but they also showed innovative techniques that have been duplicated for centuries. Although these works, which consisted mostly of pottery and wall murals, seem to be quite simple to the untrained eye, they were what most consider to be a stylized portrait of the times. J. R. Harris comments on this in his book, The Legacy of Egypt, purported lack of grace and charm, unnatural stylization--these were not…...
Ancient EgyptArchitectureArtReligion
Ancient Egyptians
Words • 1483
Pages • 6
Bill Wilke Egyptians are highly known for their glorious pyramids, powerful pharaohs, and endless amounts of gold and Jewels. When we think of Egyptians we also think of tombs, curses, and cats being a source of protection. However, it is not known to many that they have not only defined the art, but also the meaning behind tattooing. Tattoos are the one thing still captured on the bodies of mummies, in which were discovered from over a millennium ago. Females…...
Ancient EgyptTattoo
cool beans
Words • 1067
Pages • 4
Which individual led the Convention People's Party, the first formal political party in black Africa? Kwame Nkrumah Among the selectively distributed benefits of Western civilization in Africa in the 1940s was/were railway networks and other industrial sectors in Algeria and South Africa All of the following were results of European colonialism in Africa except the spread of Islam. During the colonial period, the primary export crop of Egypt and Uganda was cotton All of the following are correct about early…...
Ancient EgyptCountryHistoryIsraelNelson MandelaPersonal
Sumerian and Egyptian Hymns
Words • 550
Pages • 2
Comparison and Contrast of the General Tones of the Sumerian and Egyptian Hymns, in Relation to the Socio-Political and Geographic History of these Nations It is interesting to note that the Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations both sprung up beside rivers: Egypt lies in the delta of the Nile while the Sumerian civilization was on the fertile Mesopotamia along the banks of Tigris and Euphrates. It is thus expected that both civilizations revere their river, and associate them with gods, because…...
Ancient EgyptEgyptMesopotamia
Compare and Contrast Ancient India and Egypt Combined Politics and Religion
Words • 633
Pages • 3
Compare and Contrast ancient India and Egypt combined politics and religion Through history, religion has shaped civilizations in several aspects. In ancient Indian and Egyptian civilizations it was very strong shaping force in political structures, but both the religious beliefs and the resulting political system were different, just like pharaohs were different from rajas. The way Egyptians and Indians blended religion with politics bears certain similarities. First of all, the central role of priests, who were the Egyptians pharaohs most…...
Ancient EgyptCompare And ContrastEgyptIndiaPoliticsReligion
Dung Bettle
Words • 1043
Pages • 4
Called the dung beetle because of its practice of rolling a ball of dung across the ground. The Egyptians observed this behavior and equated it with the ball of the sun being rolled across the sky. They confused this balled food source with the egg sack that the female dung beetle laid and buried in the sand. When the eggs hatched the dung beetles would seem to appear from nowhere, making it a symbol of spontaneous creation. In this role…...
Ancient EgyptHistoryLuckPeriod
Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia Comparison and Contrast
Words • 468
Pages • 2
Comparing and Contrasting Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia In the ancient world, Egypt and Mesopotamia coexisted between 3000 and 2000 B.C.E. Throughout this essay, I will be comparing and contrasting these 2 popular ancient civilizations. Both had lots of cultural and political distinctions between them. Although ancient Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia shared resemblances in beliefs and farming, they varied considerably in afterlife and documents. Unlike most of today's civilization who are monotheistic, the belief of one god, both the Sumerians…...
Ancient EgyptComparisonMesopotamia
The Three Major Periods Of Ancient Egypt History
Words • 965
Pages • 4
Ancient Egypt is one of the most mysterious cultures there is in the world. There were no enough facts or writings about this civilization except those which were written Manetho who was Egyptian priest. He divided the history of Ancient Egypt in 31 dynasties while the modern historians limited the divisions into three major periods which students, professors and other people follows in present. These periods were separated by an era called intermediate period which shows the decline of the…...
Ancient EgyptHistoryPeriod
Compare and Contrast Mesopotamia and Egypt
Words • 492
Pages • 2
The ancient river-valley civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt share many similarities in their social, political, financial, intellectual, and cultural elements, however, at the exact same time; both are extremely different from one another. Mesopotamia developed first as a civilization without influence, while Egypt constructed off of the latter to develop their own society, thus the shared traits of their educational system, federal government, religious beliefs, and social structure. However, the variable of place also occurs; when the basis of the…...
Ancient EgyptCivilizationCompare And ContrastEgyptMesopotamiaReligion
Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture
Words • 1038
Pages • 4
Due to the scarcity of wood the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were sun-baked mud bricks and stone, mainly limestone but also sandstone and granite in considerable quantities. From the Old Kingdom onward, stone was generally reserved for tombs and temples, while bricks were used even for royal palaces, fortresses, the walls of temple precincts and towns, and for subsidiary buildings in temple complexes. The core of the pyramids came from stone quarried in the area already…...
Ancient EgyptArchitectureArt
Merneptah Stele
Words • 669
Pages • 3
The Merneptah Stele is an enticing inscription by the Ancient Egyptian king Merneptah discovered in 1896 at Thebes by Flinders Petrie. The inscriptions are put down on a ten foot high piece of black granite. The text contained in these inscriptions is mainly an account of the king’s victories in battle during the last decade of the thirteenth century B. C. E. It is of important archeological significance due to the last few lines in the inscription which is the…...
A Historical Place I VisitAncient EgyptArcheologyHistory
The Ancient Idea of Banqueting
Words • 1358
Pages • 5
History The idea of banqueting is ancient (see Sellisternium, Belshazzar's Feast, and Mead halls). In the 16th century, a banquet was very different from our modern perception and stems from the medieval 'ceremony of the void'. After dinner, the guests would stand and drink sweet wine and spices while the table was cleared, or ‘voided’ (Later in the 17th century ‘void’ would be replaced with the French ‘dessert’). During the 16th century, guests would no longer stand in the great…...
Ancient EgyptCulture And TraditionHistoryPeacock BirdPeriod
Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
Words • 898
Pages • 4
The last great Ice Age not only influenced our planets climate and geology but also the migration of humans and their settlement to create vast civilizations. Upon these civilizations lied Mesopotamia, known as the “cradle of civilization,” and Ancient Egypt. These two civilizations flourished in their primitive times due to their political, social, and cultural advancements. Sharing many qualities of each other as people, these two societies were also exceedingly different, as are most cultures. Both Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt…...
Ancient Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Words • 1071
Pages • 4
The greatest accomplishment of all the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World does not need a description by early historians and poets. It does not require conjectures regarding its appearance, size, and shape. This wonder is the oldest of them all and the only surviving one. This great wonder of the ancient world is the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Great Pyramid of Giza is located on the outskirts of today, Cairo, Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile…...
A Historical Place I VisitAncient EgyptCivilizationEventHistoryPeriod
Private Overnight Tours to Luxor & Cairo 2 Days Tours From Sharm
Words • 474
Pages • 2
Day 01: Depart Sharm / Cairo Tour We pick up from your Sharm hotel at and transfer to Sharm El Sheikh airport , fly to Cairo by Egypt air 50 minutes flight. Arrive to Cairo airport and transfer by AC private van with our Egyptologist guide to discover the exquisite Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinus, the Sphinx with a head of a pharaoh and lion’s body, which dates back to the reign of King Chephren, and the Valley Temple…...
Ancient EgyptEgyptTour
05 Days Travel to Cairo and Luxor Holiday
Words • 349
Pages • 2
Day 1: Welcome to Egypt Arrive to Cairo airport, meet and assist by your tour manager then transfer to your hotel for check in with an exclusive air conditioned modern van. Our rep will provide you with detailed info about your holiday itinerary advice all procedures and finalize all pick up time for your holiday time, overnight in Cairo. Day 2: Giza Pyramids / Egyptian Museum Tour Breakfast at your hotel in Cairo and then met by your personal guide…...
Ancient EgyptHoli
Mesopotamia VS Egypt
Words • 304
Pages • 2
In discussing the ancient world, many aspects in ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt seem to be different and similar in different ways. Mesopotamia and Egypt differ in the way their kings govern and the social standings of woman. But were the similar in how religion played a big part in their lives. Mesopotamians kingship difference from Egypt in the way they governed. In Mesopotamia kings were the representatives of the gods. Also in Mesopotamia kings followed Hammurabi’s code of laws.…...
Ancient EgyptEgyptHammurabi codeMesopotamia
The Use of Charchoal Ink
Words • 861
Pages • 4
Charcoal one of the earliest known forms of ink, was used as early as 30,000 BC. The first of its use documented in the continent of Europe. It may be a bit primitive to these modern times but still very useable for those who want to try it. The recipe of making it however is similar to those inks made by ancient civilizations such as the ink used by the Ancient Egyptians. We propose to make charcoal ink as a…...
ActivityAncient EgyptHistoryPencilPeriodScience
Ancient Egypt vs. Canada
Words • 1855
Pages • 7
Ancient Egyptians are really interesting people. They were really successful and very powerful. Life in ancient Egypt was not easy. They grew their own food and made their own clothes. They did as best they might with what they had. Life in Canada appears easy compared to ancient Egypt. Their cuisine, clothing, language, federal government, schooling and contributions to their society were various from ours. For my essay I have actually blogged about each of these and seen the distinctions…...
Ancient EgyptCanadaEgypt
Mesopotamia and Egypt Civilization Comparison
Words • 482
Pages • 2
When comparing the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia during 8,000 BCE to 1,000 BCE, there are many similarities and differences. One way in which they are similar was that they both farmed next to fertile rivers. One way in which they are different was that both their trade partners were different. One way in which they are similar was that they both farmed. The Egypt civilization was located all along the Nile River, while the Mesopotamia civilization was located by…...
Ancient EgyptCivilizationComparisonMesopotamiaMesopotamian Civilization
Khafre and Seated Scribe
Words • 658
Pages • 3
Comparison The two pieces, “Khafre” and “Seated Scribe”, are two art pieces that have originated from the ancient Egyptian time period. These two pieces are very similar and different in many ways. With this in mind, we learn that art work, depending on the time period, may have similar meanings but also different messages and that same time. The piece “Khafre” has many differences compared to “Seated Scribe”. One of these differences is simple; Khafre, the Pharaoh that is being…...
Ancient EgyptArtCountryHistoryPeriodSea
Women in ancient Greece and ancient Rome
Words • 959
Pages • 4
My paper will compare and contrast women in ancient Greece and ancient Rome. It will cover three areas to the woman’s life; marriage, inheritance and social life. Marriage in ancient Greece was considered one of the most important aspects of a woman’s life, yet she had no control over it. When a woman was to be married she “given” in marriage by her father or other male authority figure. Women were seen as objects, thus they were “given”. They had…...
Ancient EgyptAncient GreeceFamilyGreek ArtGreek mythologyMarriage
Article summary example
Words • 438
Pages • 2
Will Rasmussen in the article “Egypt fights to stem rapid population growth," writes about Egypt’s dilemma of trying to stop a vastly growing population. Egypt's population doubled since President Hosni Mubarak took office in 1981 and it’s likely to double to 160 million by 2050. The nation’s growth has been quite high, in recent years the fertility rate is about 3.1 children per woman in contrast to the United States’ 2.1. Most of the country’s 82 million people compressed in…...
Ancient EgyptArtCountry
We've found 34 essay examples on Ancient Egypt
1 of 1

Math in Ancient Egypt

Part of the pyramid’s enchanting effect on the imagination is how the ancient Egyptians managed to build it. Completed in 2560 BCE, after just twenty years from the start of construction, and long before any type of machinery to aid. The Egyptians used their extensive knowledge of mathematics to achieve a number of astonishing feats for daily life and as aspects that showed the greatness of their civilization. Despite the Great Pyramid being the most visible of the ancient Egyptian achievements, it was not the only to arise out of the Egyptians understanding of mathematics. In fact, it was partly due to their understanding of practical applications of mathematics that allowed them to rise to a level capable of undertaking such a monumental feat in the first place.

Fortunately, several artefacts have been found throughout history that give insight into how the Egyptians went about studying mathematics, the importance it played in their lives, and the sort of problems they were looking to solve. Among these artefacts are three papyri, another important Egyptian discovery that aided in their ability to record information. The papyri of interest are today known as the Rhind Papyrus, the Berlin Papyrus, and the Moscow Papyrus. Although there are certainly more papyri in existence today containing work from the ancient Egyptians, these three in particular paint an exquisite insight into the minds of ancient Egyptian mathematicians. An interesting aside is that the Egyptians did not truly have what would be known as a mathematician today, though it is convenient to refer to them as such rather than various profession names they would have worked under.

All three of the papyri feature mathematical equations with solutions, giving an idea of what the Egyptians were looking to solve and how they did so. It also showcases that the Egyptians were more concerned about the practicality of mathematics, rather than exploring theory. Even the Egyptian numbering system was built upon very practical measures. Being a system of base ten, which was derived from human’s ten fingers. This followed similar measurements from body parts employed by the Egyptian workers, such as a palm being the width of one hand. Similarly to their writing system, the Egyptians also employed Hieroglyphs for their numerals. Although they had clearly defined symbols for each representation of values base ten, from one to a million, the Egyptians did not develop a concept of place value. Of course this did not inhibit the Egyptians from performing operations with their numbers, having developed a unique style of multiplication suited for such, as one example.

Written Evidence about Math in Ancient Egypt

Named after Alexander Henry Rhind, a Scottish collector who purchased the papyrus in 1858 AD, approximately 3500 years after it was initially written, the Rhind Papyrus remains one of the most important artefacts to understanding ancient Egyptian mathematics today. As such, it is often described as

“a kind of instruction manual in arithmetic and geometry, and it gives us explicit demonstrations of how multiplication and division was carried out at that time. It also contains evidence of other mathematical knowledge, including unit fractions, composite and prime numbers, arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means, and how to solve first order linear equations as well as arithmetic and geometric series. “ (Mastin, 2010)

Contained within the papyrus are numerous problems involving algebra and geometry that directly related to aiding with the daily life of ancient Egyptians. In addition to this, what the papyrus is most famously known for is the table of numbers of the type 2n where n = 3,5,7,…,101. This functioned as a reference for the decomposition of these fractions. The way that Egyptian multiplication worked made this endeavor much easier than it may seem. The way multiplication worked under the Egyptian system was to continually multiply one number by two, while composing a binary, or power of two, column alongside. The numbers which added to the second number were then gathered, and the corresponding rows from the doubled column added for the result. As this can be difficult to visualize for those not familiar with the system, below is an example of a basic multiplication: Mastin. (2010)

A similar system can be seen in the way computers today perform operations. Despite the fact that modern computers use a similar system to the ancient Egyptians, the format of the table also suggests that the author had brute forced the calculations, reinforcing the idea that the Egyptians did not develop any theoretical mathematics and instead focused on the applied.

The Berlin Papyrus was published in two seperate pieces, both by Hans Schack-Schackenburg, in 1900 and 1902. The papyrus contains two problems, and suggests that the Egyptians had an understanding of the Pythagorean theorem, centuries before it was discovered by Pythagoras and given its namesake. Again, the Egyptians had less of a focus on theory and more on practical solutions. Thus, the problems on the Berlin Papyrus were solved for an explicit number. The first problem from the Berlin Papyrus states “You are told the area of a square of 100 square cubits is equal to that of two smaller squares, the side of one square is 12+ 14of the other. What are the sides of the two unknown squares?” (math tourist) In the form of a system of equations, it would look like x2 + y2 = 100, 4x -3y =0. There are a few interesting pieces happening here. The first is that it contains a second-order equation, which provides direct proof that the Egyptians were able to calculate non-linear quantities, such as those needed for the construction of the pyramids. Another is that the solution is x = 6, y = 8, for a triple of (6,8,10) or 2(3,4,5), with (3,4,5) being the most basic Pythagorean triple, a set of numbers to devise a right triangle.

The Moscow Papyrus was recovered in 1892 by Vladimir Golenishchev, who purchased the papyrus in Egypt and later brought it to Russia where it still remains in Moscow to this day. Studies estimate that the material discussed on the papyrus dates to around 1850 BC, making it the oldest of the three papyrus presented here, and the oldest mathematical papyrus uncovered thus far. The papyrus contains several interesting problems, again, relating highly to that of daily life of ancient Egyptians. Examples of these problems are calculating the size of a ship’s parts, computing the surface area and volume of a frustum, measuring the strength of beer, calculating worker productivity, and computing the areas of triangles. The problems relating to solving the volume of a frustum are of particular interest as they provide evidence that the ancient Egyptians actually knew how to calculate the volume of the pyramids before they were built, meaning they could plan ahead and know the amount of required materials. Shown is the original picture from the Moscow Papyrus with a modern interpretation: Allen. (2001)

As shown through evidence from the Rhind, Berlin, and Moscow papyri, the Egyptian’s mathematics were almost always concerned with solving a practical problem. This is not to suggest that their work was not advanced for their time, but rather that many of the people working on these problems did not have the luxury to explore topics which would not have immediate benefit. Despite the fact that many modern technologies have rendered methods the Egyptians used obsolete, the foundational knowledge laid by the ancient Egyptians can be seen.

Nile and Land Measurement

If someone did not immediately think of the Great Pyramid of Giza upon first hearing the word “Egypt”, they may instead think of the Nile River. Although the Nile runs through several countries, its role in developing ancient Egypt to an unrivaled civilization has entwined the two in history. The Nile provided the ancient Egyptians with a resource scarce for the desert climate, fresh water. This promoted a rich agricultural region along the Nile which needed to be divided for work. This was a common occurrence, needing to be done every time the Nile flooded, which erased the previous boundaries but provided the soil with a fresh supply of nutrients. Thus, the Egyptians had a great need for a reliable and accurate way to survey the land. By utilizing ropes of a predetermined length, with the aid of surveying tools to ensure a straight line, the Egyptians could accurately and quickly assess these new boundaries so work necessary for the survival of the people could be underway as soon as possible.

Despite the heavy focus of mathematics in Egyptian society on practical applications, the ancient Egyptians were a deeply religious society, with nearly every aspect of their culture being influenced by their religion. A large focus of this was on death, thus presenting an interesting intersection between the Egyptian’s understanding of mathematics with their religion. For example, the pyramids were actually built to be tombs; the pyramid shape was actually evolved from an earlier iteration known as the mastaba, which closer resembled a frustum. From the Moscow Papyrus, the Egyptians had an understanding for calculating the volume of such shape. Perhaps then, these calculations had a practical use of contributing to something that was integral to Egyptain society. Either way, such large and distinct structures were sure to grab the attention of any foreign people who happened to explore nearby.

Influence on Greek Culture

The Egyptians were not an isolated culture, and thus shared their goods and knowledge through trade, especially with neighboring societies such as Greece. While the Egyptians may not have developed elegant theories of their own, their influence on Greek mathematics is prominent. In fact, as explained by the Greek geographer Strabo

“The flooding of the Nile repeatedly takes away and adds soil, altering the configuration of the landscape and hiding the markers that separate one person’s land from that of someone else. Measurements have to be made over and over again, and they say that this is the origin of geometry” (Violatti, 2013)

In another example, the renowned Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who was by many accounts obsessed with triangles, himself spent time in Egypt. Pythagoras later developed his theorem based on the 3:4:5 triangle of which the Egyptians were very familiar with. Not only this, but the Greeks first viewed the Pythagorean theorem through shapes, not a relationship of numbers as the Egyptians had a rudimentary understanding of. There are numerous examples of famous Greek scholars proclaiming such admiration for the Egyptians.

Egyptian mathematician names may not be as familiar as those of the Greeks that came after them, but without the Egyptians, perhaps the Greeks would not be either. Though they did not develop any intricate theorems for understanding some universal truth about mathematics, the Egyptians did discover many applied elements of these properties. Many Egyptian methods seem simple with today’s understanding of mathematics, this combined with their often rudimentary tools would perhaps paint the Egyptian’s work as being simple. Though, due to the lack of developed theoretical mathematics, the work developed in ancient Egypt goes largely unnoticed to those learning about history and the development of many ideas used to this day. For this same reason, it has also caused many Egyptian methods to become obsolete, as today it is far easier to understand a general theorem or equation and apply it as needed than to brute force one for a specific task. The Egyptian mathematical experience can be represented as “The ancient Egyptians would not have had a proof of this, nor would have appreciated that a proof was necessary. They would just know from practical experience that it could always be done” (O’Connor, 2000). The Egyptians may not have explored mathematics for the beauty of mathematics, but they were able to invoke their own beauty through mathematics nonetheless.

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment