The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, written 1650BC, contains an algorithm for multiplication and tables of division. One division table says something like 10 loves of bread shared by 1 person, two people, three people, etc. The answers are in fractions, to be exact, unit fractions which was the way the early Egyptians expressed their fractions.
There will be an article coming out shortly about fractions in the Rhind Papyrus in the NCTM journal Teach Mathematics in Middle School. I like to use such information for historical and multicultural mathematics connections for my students. They love the "human" connection.
Math History Lives!
Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education The Langley School in Sciences and Technology 1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA 22012 USA 703-356-1920(w) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (703) 790-9712 --or-- KarenDM@aol.com