Date: 10/14/98 at 12:08:18 From: toni bandera Subject: Egyptian numerals Hi, I've searched all over, but I still can't find any information about Egyptian numerals. Can you please give me a site or some information on them?
Date: 10/14/98 at 12:47:01 From: Doctor Rick Subject: Re: Egyptian numerals Hi, Toni. Here is one site that briefly describes the Hieroglyphic form of Egyptian numerals: http://www.eyelid.co.uk/numbers.htm http://www.eyelid.co.uk/numbers.htm You can also look them up in the Encyclopedia Britannica - an older edition has a good article "Numerals and Numeral Systems" that includes both systems. The hieroglyphic system had symbols for 1, 10, 100, 1000, etc., and that's all. To write numbers, you just repeated the symbols as many times as you needed, just like paying an amount of money with so many pennies, dimes, and dollars. So, you'd write 543 as 100, 100, 100, 100, 100, 10, 10, 10, 10, 1, 1, 1 (using a single symbol for each number - see the Web sites for the symbols). The hieratic system had a lot more symbols: separate symbols for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 200, 300, etc. The demotic system was similar. You would write 543 as: 500, 40, 3 Can you see advantages and disadvantages of each system? How do they differ from our place-value system? Can you imagine growing up learning only Eqyptian numbers? How would you do math? Here is a page that has a little about how the Egyptians did math. Addition isn't hard (it's basically just counting) but multiplication is very hard, and they found a way to do it that has something in common with how computers work! Check it out: http://history.math.csusb.edu/HistTopics/Babylonian_and_Egyptian.html - Doctor Rick, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum