Egyptian Science

by | Feb 2, 2021 | History

The Ancient Egyptian were a very advanced civilization.
They had invented a writing system, hieroglyphs, based on actions, concepts, and syllables representations. The system was monumental and it allowed its usage both for practical and decorative purposes. The Ancient Egyptian also knew the basis of many sciences, like mathematics, geometry, astronomy, moreover, they had a lot of practical knowledge in the field of medicine and architecture.
In Ancient Egypt there was a very precise unit of a measurement system for length, surface, volume, and weight; some systems were more complex than others, such as volume systems, because they resulted from the fusion of different measurement systems.
The timing was precisely measured: the year was divided into 12 months made of 30 days each with 5 extra days, each day was divided into 12 night hours and 12 daylight hours. The peculiarity was that the day always lasted twelve hours, regardless of the season, the length of the hours, therefore, changed according to the time of the year.
Ancient Egyptians were able to apply this knowledge to create wonderful and monumental constructions.

astronomy

“Egyptian constructions are nothing more than the representation of the sky”

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the finest examples of Egyptians’ architectural skills. This colossal building has a base of 13 acres and is made up of approximately 6.5 million limestone bricks. The four faces are perfectly aligned with the four cardinal points, with an error of less than half a degree. The sides are the same length, with an error of fewer than twenty centimeters.
Some theories argue that Egyptian constructions are nothing more than the representation of the sky: the most accepted theory is that the three major pyramids correspond to the Orion belt, while the Nile represents the Milky Way; another less accepted theory is that the sphinx represents and is inspired by the Leo constellation.

Mathematics

Mathematics was seen as the instrument to know nature

Mathematics was seen as the instrument to know nature, as we can read in Rhind Papyrus: “Correct method to enter nature, know everything that exists, every mystery, every secret”.
Mathematics solver practical, numerical, and abstract problems; the developed knowledge was applied to architecture and geometry.
The numeral system dates back to the Ancient Kingdom and remained in use until the end of the Egyptian civilization, evidence of this is found in the tablet with a list of war conquests.
In addition to the numeral system, there was a system of fractions and there were specific signs to describe two thirds, three quarters, and five-sixths.
Classical Egyptian mathematics developed during the Middle Kingdom, when schools of scribes and the characteristic system of fractions were established. 

Geometry

Architects applied all of their knowledge to build the pyramids.

It was known among the Egyptians the calculation of the areas of quadrilaterals, such as rectangle, and the circle, starting from the diameter. There were methods to calculate distances and the rite of the rope was used to align the monument to the celestial north (this rite was connected to the deity of the builders, Seshat). Architects applied all of their knowledge to build the pyramids.

medicine

Medicine was highly developed and practiced by a highly specialized caste

Medicine was highly developed and practiced by a highly specialized caste; doctors could specialize or fulfill the role of a general practitioner.
Magic and medicine were strictly linked, doctors were also priests and vice versa, each session was accompanied by prayers and rituals.
Egyptians had a piece of in-depth anatomical knowledge, thanks to the study of wounded soldiers on battlefields. Many soldiers survived to a very old age thanks to surgery.
The medical practice involved observations, diagnosis, and prognosis; this was accompanied by a profound knowledge of herbal medicine and botany; dentistry was also very advanced. There was no shortage of work for veterinarians, who looked after both pets and livestock.
Medicine also served to produce cosmetics, such as oils, creams, and other preparations.

mummies

Egyptians had understood the connection between the heartbeat, pulse, and survival

Although they practiced mummifications, Egyptians did not know exactly how the human body worked, because desecrating corpses was forbidden, the only knowledge derived from the study of the wounded on the battlefields, who were treated.
Egyptians had understood the connection between the heartbeat, pulse, and survival, but they thought that the heart was the center of thought.
They also thought that blood, urine, excrement, and sperm circulated freely and constantly in the body, without being grouped into specific departments.
Corpses were cut a single time to be emptied of the organs and then cleaned, making more wounds was considered disrespectful. The knowledge of chemistry allowed them to preserve corpses for a very long time (up to the present day).
Today a group of researchers managed to simulate the voice of a 3000-year-old mummy with a medical scanner, 3D printer, and electronic larynx.