Dear List members:

Old Kingdom math was algorithmic. Numbers were recorded in unit fraction infinite series, rounding off within a 6-term, notation.Hieroglyphic script was used through out Egyptian history that included the non-ciphered many-to-one 'Roman Numeral" type numbers.

By 2050- BCE, hieratic cursive script ciphered the counting numbers one-to-one onto Egyptian sound symbols. Fractions were denoted by a line drawn over the ciphered numeral symbol. In 1650 BCE, an 87 problem text was left for the historical record that scholars have argued about since German  scholars pirated its hieratic text in 1879. The text began with a 2/n table that recorded 2/3, 2/5, ... 2/101 as concise unit fraction series. The hieratic math was finite and non-algorithmic.

After 2002 AD the ancient number theory that was used by Ahmes, the RMP scribe, slowly began to be dcoded. First was the RMP's sibling British Museum document the EMLR, a 26 line text.

Today the EMLR and RMP are read as one document, the EMLR as a student's introduction to the advanced RMP per:

Modern students, of any age, can jump back 4,000 years and enjoy a slice of math history.
Wikipedia, Planetmath and blogs are available for student to discuss hieratic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, arithmetic progressions and weights and measures topic recorded in exact unit fraction series.

In 2006 an Akhmim Wooden Tablet text, housed in Cairo's main museum was parsed beyond Hana Vymazalova's 2002 paper published by Charles U., Prague. The 2006 paper added 29 examples from RMP 82, and other problems to RMP to the six AWT problems. The 2006 paper and Vymazalova's 2002 paper are attached.


Milo Gardner

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Georges Daressy, a French Egyptologist, documented the Akhmim Wooden Tablet (AWT) in 1900, and wrote up an analysis in 1906 (attached). Daressy showed that divisors 3, 7 and 10 were exactly returned (in cubits rather than a 64/64 unity -- per Hana Vymazalova reported in 2002). Daressy muddled the divisors 11 and 13 cases within two proofs that Vymazalova corrected in 2002. Daressy placed the AWT in the Cairo Museum, and other items in a facility that does little with the important AWT weights and measures document.
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