Egyptian pyramids


The main achievements of early Egyptian mathematicians involved the practical skill of measurement – in particular, the magnificent pyramids, designed as tombs for their rulers. The oldest of these is King Djoser’s step pyramid in Saqqara, built in horizontal layers and dating from about 2700 BC.

The pyramids of Gizeh (or Giza) date from about 2600 BC and attest to the Egyptians’ extremely accurate measuring ability. In particular, the Great Pyramid of Cheops has a square base whose sides of length 230 metres agree to within 0.01%. Constructed from more than two million blocks averaging over 2 tonnes in weight, the pyramid is 146 metres high and contains an intricate arrangement of internal chambers and passageways.

[Egypt 1987; Hungary 1980; Gambia 1997; Congo 1978]


Published/edited: 25/10/2015