Egyptian Artifacts > Moscow Mathematical Papyrus

# Moscow Mathematical Papyrus

## Background

The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian mathematical document dating to the Middle Kingdom period, specifically the 12th Dynasty, around 1850 BCE. Here are key aspects of the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus:

### Discovery and Origin:

- The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus was acquired by the Russian Egyptologist Vladimir Golenishchev in the late 19th century.
- It is believed to have been part of a larger collection of papyri found in the Fayyum region of Egypt, although its exact provenance is uncertain.

### Contents and Format:

- The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus is written in hieratic script, a cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing, on a scroll of papyrus.
- It consists of multiple mathematical problems, calculations, and geometric diagrams arranged in a series of columns and rows.
- The document covers a wide range of mathematical topics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and practical applications of mathematics in daily life.

### Mathematical Problems and Solutions:

- The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus contains over 25 mathematical problems and exercises, along with their solutions and explanations.
- These problems include calculations of areas, volumes, and proportions, as well as problems related to construction, surveying, and trade.
- The papyrus also includes geometric problems involving the calculation of the area of triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles, as well as the determination of unknown dimensions based on given measurements.

### Significance and Interpretation:

- The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus is one of the oldest known mathematical texts in existence, providing valuable insights into the mathematical knowledge and techniques of ancient Egypt.
- It demonstrates the Egyptians' advanced understanding of mathematics, including sophisticated methods for solving practical problems and performing complex calculations.
- The document also sheds light on the role of mathematics in ancient Egyptian society, where it was used for purposes such as land surveying, construction projects, and trade.

### Preservation and Accessibility:

- The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus is currently housed in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Russia.
- It has been studied by scholars and mathematicians around the world, contributing to our understanding of the development of mathematics in ancient Egypt and its influence on later mathematical traditions.

Overall, the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus is a significant historical and mathematical artifact, providing valuable evidence of the mathematical achievements of ancient Egyptian civilization and its contributions to the development of mathematics as a discipline.

## 12th Dynasty Artifacts

- Prisse Papyrus
- Berlin Papyrus
- Moscow Mathematical Papyrus
- Rhind Mathematical Papyrus
- Edwin Smith Papyrus
- Ebers Papyrus

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