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Mathematics in the Time of the Pharaohs
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am 10. November 1999
The Rhind, Moscow, and other important mathematical papyri decoded in every detail. A sweeping tour through the ancient Egyptian methods of calculation, parts of which are still used today in computer code! In his well-written account, Mr. Gillings makes it very clear that the common view on ancient Egyptian mathematics as 'rather primitive' is definitely to be revised. Provided with a few basic tools, the scribes of the epoch were able to carry out very complicated computations indeed, at times involving several different units. Their rough-and-ready estimate of pi was off by only 0.6 percent as compared to the correct value. The author presents a rich variety of calculated examples and explains the logic behind them. Earlier researchers in the field are commented.
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