Did you ever wonder how ancient Egyptians lived and created
math? How adding, subtracting, multiplying, division, fractions,
and all of that started? Iíll tell you right now, that it was not
as easy as you might think. It took a lot of progress to create
math. Come and read a little more and Iíll tell you all about it
In that time, people thought of gods for everything. For
instance, children knew sun god Ra sailed a boat across the
sky everyday and one through water under earth during dark
hours. Pretty strange, huh? They also thought that the boats
were stars! I know that it may seem weird now, but everyone
has their own beliefs.
They had a number of reasons to use math. The
Egyptians needed to take advantage of the Nile, so they
invented irrigation for their own uses. To measure the flood,
they made mathematical formulas. And to sail on the Nile,
they had to use math to make the boats. They sure had a lot
of uses for math in those days.
Not everybody in ancient Egypt learned math. In fact, not
even half of the population learned math. It was only usually
studied by high government people like priests and government
officials. The knowledge came from needs- the government
does taxes and the priests calculated the actions of the Nile
god Hapi. The kids were not taught math either, even the boys.
They had, basically every unit of math. They had adding,
subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and even fractions.
But the Egyptians didnít use numbers like we do today.
They used symbols. Symbols were used to count with.
Egyptians used different for hundreds and units. And
Egyptians didnít just add like 2+2. Nooo, they wrote an answer,
letís say, 1,492, like this:

Pretty strange, isnít it? Could you ever imagine us writing in
symbols? I couldnít ever. This how Egyptians wrote ones: ||||
10ís: 100ís: 1,000ís: 10,000ís: 100,000ís:

The ancient Egyptians also had other various kinds of
math, not just adding and subtracting. Measuring was a big
part of life back then. The earliest measuring was on the
human body. Since Pharaoh was the most important person,
his measurements always came first. In those days, a cubit
was the length of forearm from the elbow to the tip of his
middle finger. But, like in every plan, there was a problem. The
problem was that everyone is different. That was when the
official measuring stick were created. And now, the cubit
defined as 7 palms. And that was how measuring was created.
Egyptian time-keeping began in a natural way. They
probably kept time by marking the passage of days on a stick.
The best time they probably could keep track of was the most
obvious time in their lives. The over-flowing of the Nile.
Whenever the Nile overflowed, the Egyptians used
geometry to make up their boundaries again. They also had to
become experts at property lines. An unknown Egyptian is said
to have figured out that a triangle, measuring 3,4,5 or 5, 12,13
on its side, would always contain a right angle. The Egyptians
also knew how to measure the area of an irregular piece of
land by dividing it into triangles.
Believe it or not, weights were used as early as 3,500 BC
The weights were made of stone and other materials. Weights
were later made of pottery and bronze. They were also shaped
like animals. The bulls head was especially popular. The basic
unit of weight was the deben, about 93.3 grams (3.3 oz.) The
deben measured copper. The metal were valuable trades.
Workmenís tools were actually weighed to see if any precious
metal had been removed. ďKitayĒ, weighing 9 to 10 grams, was
added after the 12th dynasty, and the deben was rounded off
to 10 ďkitayĒ. And the ďkitayĒ was only used for measuring
gold and silver.
Whew, that tired me out. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed
that little adventure we took. Now that you know all of that
information, go on and share it with your friends. And
remember, you will always need math.