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Egyptian Mathematics Numbers Hieroglyphs

Egyptian Mathematics Numbers

Egyptian Mathematics Numbers Hieroglyphs and Math problems for kids

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.

Hieroglyphic Numbers
Hieroglyphic Numbers

Hieroglyphic Numbers

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 a drawing of a lotus plant.
  • 10,000 is represented by a finger.
  • 100,000  a tadpole or frog
  • 1,000,000 figure of a god with arms raised above his head.


Hieroglyphic Numbers 3,244 and 21,237
3,244 and 21,237

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.


Hieroglyphic Fractions

All ancient Egyptian fractions, with the exception of 2/3, are unit fractions, that is fractions with numerator 1.
For example 1/2, 1/7, 1/34.

Unit fractions are written additively:
1/4 1/26 means 1/4 + 1/26. and 1/4 + 1/28 = our 2/7.

The hieroglyph for ‘R’ was used as the word ‘part’. For example:

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Fractions
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Fractions
Eye of Horus Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Fractions
Eye of Horus

In one of the ancient stories the god Seth attacked his brother the god Horus and gouged out his eye and then tore it to pieces. Fortunately for Horus the god Thoth was able to put the pieces back together and heal his eye.

In honour of this story the ancient Egyptians also used the pieces of Horus’s eye to describe fractions.

  • The right side of the eye = 1/2
  • The pupil = 1/4
  • The eyebrow = 1/8
  • The left side of the eye = 1/16
  • The curved tail = 1/32
  • The teardrop = 1/64

Rhind Mathematical Papyrus

It contains 84 different calculations to help with various aspects of Egyptian life, from pyramid building to working out how much grain it takes to fatten a goose.

Math Using Hieroglyphs

This first math test is easy for  for 10 – 11 year olds

Mathematics Problems one – Easy

Now for more difficult hieroglyphic Math tests

Egyptian Hieroglyphics 2018

Egyptian Hieroglyphics 2018

This is a brand new version that now works on Windows 10, MAC, iPad, Android and all mobile phones.

There are more than 1100 Hieroglyphic illustrations including 450 Egyptian word examples and over 650 hieroglyphs from the Gardiner list.

Egyptian Hieroglyphics includes detailed information on the history of Egyptian writing and mathematics, the use of the different types of symbols, how to write your name, how to recognize kings names and the story of the scribe with a video showing how papyrus is made.

All the content can be printed including typewriter and calculator functions.

There are also navigation and search text functions.

The Hieroglyphic Typewriter and Math Calculator is included.

The Hieroglyphic Typewriter and Math Calculator is included. The on screen QWERTY keyboard incorporates alphabet and number symbols together with a selection of determinative signs. The keys include Latin symbols together with their hieroglyph equivalents and descriptions, which allow you to type messages naturally and at a glance see the translations.

Kids can quickly write names and short secret messages and then select print from the menu.

Egyptian Mathematics
Hieroglyphic Writing