EGYPTIAN MATHEMATICS PAPYRI
(and contents exhibited)
There are two primary sources and a number of secondary sources on Egyptian Mathematics. The primary sources are the Rhind (or Ahmes) Papyrus and the Moscow Papyrus, and between them they contain 112 problems with solutions. Among the secondary sources are three payri from ~1800 BC: Egyptian Mathematical Leather Roll (a table of 26 decompositions of unit fractions); the Berlin Papyrus (two problems of simultaneous equations - one of the 2nd degree); the Reisner Papyrus (volume calculations).
The Egyptian mace head (~3100 BC) contains a record of the winnings of war of the Pharoah Narmer - 120,000 prisioners, 400,000 oxen, and 1,422,000 goats. It uses a number system allowing counting to continue indefinitely by introducing, if necessary, a new symbol.
MOSCOW PAPYRUS was copied by an unknown scribe (~1850 BC). It was brought to Russia during the middle of the 19th century, and is located in the Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, and contains mathematics problems (simple equations) and solutions.
Problem 10 (translation)
The Egyptian Mathematical Leather Roll (~1850 BC) is a table consisting 26 decompositions into unit fractions.
The Berlin Papyrus (~1800 BC) contains, among other things, two problems in simultaneous equations, one of which is 2nd degree. They are translated.
Problem 1 (simultaneous equations)
Problem 2 (simultaneous equations)
The Reisner Papyri (~1800 BC) consists of four fragments of rolls containing calculations of volumes of temples.
The Kahun Papyrus (~1800 BC) contains six mathematical fragments. A considerable amount of the Kahun Papyrus is still not translated.
The Rhind Papyrus (also called the Ahmes Papyrus) is named after the British collector, Rhind, who acquired it in 1858. It was copied by a scribe, Ahmes (or Ahmos), (~1650 BC) from another document written ~2000 BC, which, possibly in turn, was copied from a document from ~2650 BC (the time of Imhotep?). The Rhind Papyrus is located in the British Museum, and contains mathematics problems and solutions. All the problems below are translations.
Rhind Papyrus 2/n table
Problem 24 (simple equations)
Problem 28 (simple equations)
Problem 33 (simple equations)
Problem 40 (geometric series & simultaneous equations)
Problem 50 (determining )
Problem 64 (geometric series)
Problem 72 (simple algebra)
Problem 79 (The Inventory Problem) (geometric series)
The Histories. In 1984, Penguin publishedThe Histories, by the Greek, Herodotus (~450 BC).
Since opening 5/25/97, visitors to
The web pages
MATHEMATICIANS OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA
are brought to you by
The Mathematics Department of
The State University of New York at Buffalo.
They are created and maintained
Scott W. Williams
Professor of Mathematics