THE MATHEMATICS OF ANCIENT EGYPT . BACK TO THE ANCIENTS 

ARITHMETIC* 
ALGEBRA* 
GEOMETRY* 

* PLEASE NOTE: Netscape 3.0 is needed to see superscripts and subscripts.
WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF MATHEMATICS ?
The Egyptians had a calendar as early as 4800 BC, but in 4200 BC their mathematics and astronomy produced a 365 day calendar (12 months of 30 days + 5 feast days). By 3100 BC (the time of the Egyptian mace ) various agricultural communities along the banks of the Nile were united by a Nubian, Menes, who founded a dynasty of 32 Pharoahs and lasted 3000 years. For more than half that time, Egypt included parts of modern Israel and Syria as well as the Nile Valley. To rule effectively, an efficient and extensive administration was developed for taking taxes, census, and maintaining a large army. All of this required some mathematics. At first they used counting glyphs, but even by 2000 BC, the hieratic glyphs were in use. For information on sources, see Egyptian Mathematical Papyri.
Herodotus, the Greek (~500 BC), wrote: [Pharaoh Ramses II (~1300 BC)] divided the land into lots and gave a square piece of equal size, from the produce of which he exacted an annual tax. [If] any man's holding was damaged by the encroachment of the river ... [The Pharoah] ... would send inspectors [and surveyors] to measure the extent of the loss, in order that he pay in future a fair proportion of the tax at which his property had been assessed. Perhaps this was the way in which geometry was invented, and passed afterwards in to Greece.
Another judge of the Greek's high estimation of the Egyptians mathematics comes from a boast of Democritus (~410 BC), who wrote: No one surpasses me in the construction of lines with [the help of a ruler and compass], not even the socalled ropestretchers (surveyors) among the Egyptians.
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*I am appreciative of many discussions on egyptian mathematics, and my suppositions, with colleagues Samuel D. Schack and Stephen Schanuel of my department. And Milo Gardner. Any errors are entirely due to my inadequacies.