Different and Dissonant Values in Measuring Dimensions in Ancient Egypt “A Comparative Study with Contemporary Measurements”

Author Details

Dr. Ayman Waziry

Journal Details


Published: 11 March 2020 | Article Type :


This paper focuses on How there are different and dissonant values in measuring dimensions in ancient Egypt? The ancient Egyptians relied on a natural method to measure dimensions like the arm that was used as a measure of length, approximately equal to the length of a forearm. Traditionally, it was the length from the bent elbow to the tips of the fingers. Typically, almost 18 inches or 44 cm, however there was a long cubit of about 21 inches or 52 cm. The second natural method was the width of the palm of the hand. As well as, the human fingers used as digits for measuring width, where the four digits equal the sign of one palm and seven palms equals one cubit. In present-day trigonometry, cotangent requires same units for both horizontal run and vertical rise, however ancient sources like Rhind Papyrus uses palms for the run and cubits for the rise, resulting in these different, yet characteristic mathematics. In ancient Egypt there were seven palms in a cubit, in addition to the seqed that was seven times the cotangent. There are some questions are as follows: Is it true that the Egyptian seqed is the ratio of the run to the rise of a slope of a cotangent? How to measure the inclination in ancient Egypt accurately? Is the value of the seqed or the angle θ correct by applying the rules of modern trigonometry? The question arises as to whether the problems of the seqed are actually mirrored in the ancient Egyptian architecture methods and construction techniques? How are there different and dissonant values in measuring dimensions in ancient Egypt?

Keywords: Mathematics, Measuring, Dimensions, Inclination, Dissonant Values.

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