Synopses & Reviews
Mathematics in Ancient Egypt
traces the development of Egyptian mathematics, from the end of the fourth millennium BC--and the earliest hints of writing and number notation--to the end of the pharaonic period in Greco-Roman times. Drawing from mathematical texts, architectural drawings, administrative documents, and other sources, Annette Imhausen surveys three thousand years of Egyptian history to present an integrated picture of theoretical mathematics in relation to the daily practices of Egyptian life and social structures.
Imhausen shows that from the earliest beginnings, pharaonic civilization used numerical techniques to efficiently control and use their material resources and labor. Even during the Old Kingdom, a variety of metrological systems had already been devised. By the Middle Kingdom, procedures had been established to teach mathematical techniques to scribes in order to make them proficient administrators for their king. Imhausen looks at counterparts to the notation of zero, suggests an explanation for the evolution of unit fractions, and analyzes concepts of arithmetic techniques. She draws connections and comparisons to Mesopotamian mathematics, examines which individuals in Egyptian society held mathematical knowledge, and considers which scribes were trained in mathematical ideas and why.
Of interest to historians of mathematics, mathematicians, Egyptologists, and all those curious about Egyptian culture, Mathematics in Ancient Egypt sheds new light on a civilization's unique mathematical evolution.
Imhausen presents an introduction to Egyptian mathematics from theprehistoric and early dynastic period through the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms to the Greco-Roman periods. Mathematics was integratedso fully into Egyptian life, she says, that numbers appeared in many kinds of documents besides mathematical and administrative, and sheprovides examples. Among her topics are the invention of writing and number notation, metrological systems, the mathematical training ofscribes, New Kingdom mathematical texts Ostraca Senmut 153 and Turin 57170, mathematics in literature, and Demotic Greek arithmetic.Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
The Description for this book, Mathematics in Ancient Egypt: A Contextual History, will be forthcoming.
"Imhausen is one of the leading contemporary researchers in the mathematics of ancient Egypt and her book, which spans the whole of Egyptian mathematics from the early dynastic periods to the Greco-Roman era, will be the quintessential scholarly work in the field."--Amy Shell-Gellasch, Montgomery College
"A modern, up-to-date, unbiased discussion on ancient Egyptian mathematics, this book is an important contribution to the field. It represents the most recent and best-documented presentation of the subject."--Corinna Rossi, author of Architecture and Mathematics in Ancient Egypt
"Imhausen's book is a superb introduction to the fascinating field of Egyptian mathematics. The work displays an impressive mastery of source material that straddles a range of languages and an enormous timespan, and is filled with impeccable scholarship that is superbly readable. It will become the standard reference for this topic."--Duncan J. Melville, St. Lawrence University
About the Author
Annette Imhausen is professor of the history of science at Goethe University, Frankfurt. She is the author of Egyptian Algorithms.