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Q: Ahmes Of Egypt ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Ahmes Of Egypt
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: pinecastle-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Sep 2004 21:37 PDT
Expires: 25 Oct 2004 21:37 PDT
Question ID: 406383
history of Ahmes Of egypt.  The early years and contribution to math.
Time line of his life.
Subject: Re: Ahmes Of Egypt
Answered By: digsalot-ga on 26 Sep 2004 07:09 PDT
Hello there

LOL, I am flattered politicalguru-ga still considers me the "house
Egyptologist" since I am actually a "retired" Egyptologist.

Yes, there is a connection between an 'Ahmes' (A'h-mosŤ) and ancient
Egyption Mathematics.  He lived in the 2nd century BCE and was not a
mathematician but a scribe.  He did not contribute anything to
mathematical theory, he merely wrote it down.

In the Ahmes/Rhind Papyrus, (named after Scottish Egyptologist
Alexander Henry Rhind)  Ahmes claims not to be the author of the work,
being, only a scribe. He stated that the material comes from an
earlier work of about 2000 BC.  And there are certainly references in
this papyrus to earlier mathematical concepts, some of which may have
been handed down from Imhotep, the supervisor of the building of the
Step Pyramid of Zoser.  The papyrus holds 84 mathematical problems
along with their solutions.  Some say that there is even a clue to the
ancient Egyptian value for Pi.

An example of such a problem and solution:

"Example of reckoning a pyramid 360 in its ukha-thebet and 250 in its
peremus. Cause thou that I know the seked of it.
You are to take half of 360; It becomes 180. 
You are to reckon with 250 to find 180. 
Result:          1/2  + 1/5 + 1/50. 
A cubit being 7 palms, you are to multiply by 7. 

        1                7 
        1/2           3 + 1/2 
        1/5        1 + 1/3 + 1/15 
        1/50        1/10 + 1/25 

Its seked is 5 1/25 palms."

Ahmes writing is a collection of exercises, mostly rhetorical in form,
and designed primarily for students.

Ahmes was born in about 1680BCE and died about 1620BCE.

Nothing is known of him other than his own comments in the papyrus. 

You can find additional information and images of the papyrus here: - A printable image of
part of the papyrus. - From the University of Toledo - images, sample
problems from the papyrus and links to even more.

If I may clarify anything before you rate the answer, please ask.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 26 Sep 2004 07:11 PDT
Correction - I stated he lived in the 2nd 'century' BCE - that should
be 2nd "millenium" BCE

Subject: Re: Ahmes Of Egypt
From: politicalguru-ga on 26 Sep 2004 01:05 PDT
Unless we're talking about someone else, Ahmes was a WOMAN, and I do
not think that she had any significant contribution to mathematics.
Maybe our house Egyptologist could clarify the issue.

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