Math & Science InAncient Egypt & Ancient Greece By: Ryan Key & Andy Valkov
Introduction to Ancient MathThe Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks were very good in math and used it in many practical ways in their lives.The Egyptians based their units of measurement on the human body. They could add, subtract, multiply and divide, and they knew how to use fractions to find the area of rectangles, circles and triangles.Some people say the Greeks were the inventors of math. They were very good in geometry and decided on standard ways to draw, making straight lines with a ruler and drawing circles with a compass. All angles and shapes could be constructed with these.We found out that many of the kinds of math calculations we do now came from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Here are some topics that we found interesting.
Math In Ancient Egypt The CubitThe Egyptians came up with standard ways to measure anything. One of their main measurements was the cubit. The cubit was the distance from a man’s elbow to the tip of his middle finger. This measurement was used for many things in construction and distances or lengths.Egyptian farmers were charged taxes based on the size of their farms. The measurements were made in cubits. If a farmer’s land was measured by a tall man, then he could end up paying less tax than a farmer whose land was measured by a shorter man, as the taller man’s arms would be longer, so the farm that was measured by the tall man could be less cubits.
Math In Ancient Egypt PyramidsMeasurement and angles were very important for building of the pyramids.Each stone block for each level of the pyramid needed to be exactly the same size, and have right angles on each edge. Each layer on the pyramid was built slightly smaller than the previous layer. If the blocks weren’t exactly the same, the sides of the pyramid would not be straight, and the height of each level would be slanted and eventually it would tip.The Egyptians created many tools to make sure the building was done perfectly. This includes what we now call a plumb-line, which is a string with a weight on the bottom of it that hangs down in a perfectly straight line, and a mason’s square which makes sure corners are built in right angles.
Math In Ancient Greece MeasurementThe Ancient Greeks used math in many day to day activities. They were really good in geometry. You can see this in the design of many of their buildings.The Ancient Greeks were famous for teaching and debating. Because they loved to debate and argue they also questioned and debated whether all the ways they used math would be the same in different situations.Many of these math rules had to do with angles and triangles. They figured out how to measure the height of a building by using the sun and the shadow it would create. They could measure the height of a pillar on a building by measuring how long the shadow was on the ground instead of climbing up the building. This same math rule could also see how far away ships were in the sea.
Math In Ancient Greece EratosthenesEratosthenes was a mathematician who used the angles of shadows the sun to figure out the earth’s circumference. The noon sun in the city of Syene didn’t make a shadow in a well but the noon sun in the city of Alexandria did. Eratosthenes figured out the only explanation was because the earth was curved.He calculated the angle to be 7 1/5-degrees, then used multiplication to figure out 50 of these angles would create a 360-degree circle. The distance between the cities was about 480 miles, so 480 x 50 would be about the distance around the world.This was in about 240 B.C., more than 1700 years before the explorer Magellan sailed around the world.
ConclusionAs you can see, a lot of the math we use today is similar to the types of math that the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks used centuries ago. The principles or rules behind math calculations have been proven to be right and are still true now.Also standards that were created back then, have created tools like rulers and plumb-lines that are still in use today.
Introduction to Ancient Science Now we know about Math but now we’re going to look at science inancient Egypt & Greece Egyptians focused on ships, Medicine andastronomy while Greeks focused onMilitary and Architecture AncientEgypt is more ancient than Ancient Greece without these civilizations the world could have been much worse.
Astronomy, Calendars and Time in Ancient Egypt In astronomy before building a Pyramid with the help of an astronomer you’d choose the location. Ancient Egyptians arranged their Temples and Pyramids to reflect a planet or star somewhere in Egypt 10 pyramids were arranged like the solar systems orbits. The best science and astronomy time in Egypt was the Old Kingdom age. They discovered the Great Bear and Orion star clusters. The night sky or Astronomy was mostly studied by Priests. They knew that the earth was round and they had an idea on how big the Earth and/or solar system could have been. Some of their discoverieswere influenced by foreigners that went to Egypt. They could find North by standing in the center of a circle and tracing of a star from east to west then marking the point in between as North so Stars could be used for navigation. They used Stars towork out the earliest calendars some 5,000 years ago back then. They saw the year as 3 months with the same length. At some point back then the begging of a new year was the rising of the Star Sirius they were also the first to get the idea that a day had 24 hours. Once a year Sirius rose in the morning in directs line with the sun that was a new year but there were problems with the leap year. They had some ways of telling time like the Sundial which used the suns light while it was slowly setting butthis didn’t work on cloudy days, stormy days or night time or any time the Sun was not shining so a new type of clock was produced a water clock a Water Clock was a stone bucket with a hole in the bottom and a scale inside to mark the time as the water level fell it was the most accurate time telling device of that time and it was very popular and common and was used until the 13th century. They used messengers on foot and camel to transport messages.
Medicine and Body Science in Ancient Egypt In medicine the Egyptians learned about the inner workings of a body by their dissection of animals. Back then it was a tradition of sacrifices. They also learned from mummification it was a tradition of preserving the bodies of dead wealthy people. Some ancient Egyptian texts try to explain the inner workings of the human and animal body. Doctors set broken bones using wooden splints and dressed wounds with plant fibers, oil, honey, and medicines made of plants and/or minerals and/or animals they performed surgeries using knives, forceps, and wooden and/or metal probes they had no anapestics or numbing potions while doing their surgery. There were also doctor for animals. Doctors knew that the heart had something to do with the pulse but they also incorrectly thought the heart was speaking a message in the pulse and that it controlled the body and feelings. They did not realize that the brain was important however they knew a bit about the nervous system and understood effects of the injury of the spine. They had many mixtures for different medicines they used herbs, minerals, animal products, oils and shrubs some include squeezing animal fats filled with herbs to get a juice which they use as medicine they didn’t have medicines for inside the body only outside. Some of their remedies were effective some were not some were even harmful due to their dangerous ingredients. They also had a nutritious drink from wheat and barley. Surgeons cleaned their surgical blades in fire and kept the surrounding area as clean as possible. They knew a bit about electricity by observing lightning and coming in contact with electric animals like the electric eel but they never used electricity.
Inventions, Pyramids and Water Management in Ancient EgyptWhen an wealthy Egyptian wants to make a Pyramid he/she needs a nice location an astronomer finds them alocation which is mirroring some planet or star in the sky then they need to turn that place into flat land fora good foundation many think cut channels and fill them with water then cut everything to the water levellike this 1; the water levels out in the small ditch or channel. 2; Slaves and /or Laborers cut the whole areathe Pyramid needs to that exact level. 3; they fill the ditch up with rocks again. 4; they start building thePyramid. Sow they knew water took up any shape. They used granite to protect the outside of the Pyramidand they put booby traps and other things to stop grave robbers. Pyramids were used as graves. They builttheir houses out of bricks. The bricks were made of mud and chopped straw. They mixed the mud and strawand then poured the mixture into molds. The molds were placed in the sun to bake into hard bricks. Theroof was made of reed mixed with something sticky. They knew about rocks and minerals at some point theymade most of their tools out of copper, then they switched bronze and later to iron. Iron was the best forthem since it was so strong. They could melt mold and cool some metals to make new shapes, metals or tools.Some theories suggest that they could make glass. They used simple machines like the incline plane the leverand the wheel to help them with building Pyramids. They used spatially engineered ships to transportmaterials to the construction site they used sled to haul stones across the sand since it acted like snow.Pyramids influenced their science a lot they invented Pyramids too along with Papyrus sheets (Papyrus is anearly form of paper) it was made from the Papyrus plants that grew along the shores of the Nile workerscut papyrus stems into shorter pieces and peeled them then they were soaked in water then they werearranged in a double layer covered with cloth and pounded with a mallet until the strips were mattedtogether these sheet were then polished, with a rounded stone trimmed and pasted end to end ready foruse slaves sometimes. They also invented Black ink (which was made by grinding pigmented minerals thenmixing them with a liquid, the ox drawn plow, the pyramid, the water clock, the sundial, and the sun calendarand eye makeup. They made eye makeup using led for the black color and copper for the green or gold color.Another invention is a Nilometer (The Nilometer was a gauge used to measure the water level of the Nilethis could be used to predict when the Nile will flood. Big catch basins were built to trap water as the Nilefloods receded workers dug canals leading to field further away this was used to transport water to fieldsin need of it they also used ditches to raise water up from a river farmers used something called a Shadoofsort of like a bucket picking up water and bringing it up its still used today.
Ships All Shapes & Sizes in Ancient Egypt Ancient Egyptian ships were the quickest and most efficient way of transport in Egypt at the time. TheNile flows south but the wind blows north this means that boats can drift south with the current and sail north by turning on their sails and catching wind going north and possible rowing. The earliest Egyptian boats were made of reeds bound together (reed is a plant) these boats were only for short range trips such as fishing later they were later replaced with wooden planks for a faster more stable ship. There were boats for battle, transportation, transportation of cargo, funerals for the rich, and merchant and pleasure ships. Cargo ships are often called Barges some are so big they has to be sailing and/or rowingships towing the Barge away Barges are often used to bring materials to Pyramid or Temple construction sites. Ships usually had oars at the back to help steer this part of a boat was called the Stern. Some ships had sails and oars others just had sails and others just had oars oars helped them travel against the current and against the wind. Egyptian ships were constructed so that they could be dismantled easily this means that they can be dismantled transported on land then built again at sea. An early type of reed boat called a Coracle had its frame made of reed and animal hides and the outside was coated in tar to make it watertight. Egyptians used donkeys when traveling on land. Funeral Boats or Funeral Barges took the dead to their tomb. When the Sea Peoples from northern Mediterranean invaded EgyptRamesses l l l sent a fleet or small Navy of warships against them. The warships were designed to crash into the enemy ships and create holes in their ships without damaging their own ships. This was one of the best first Navys of the ancient world it defeated the Sea Peoples because he Egyptians had both oars and sails this made them more maneuverable while the Sea Peoples had only sails. Their ships were flat bottomed usually made of carved wooden planks they usually had 1 or more sails and over 3 oarssometimes the ships had 2 or more decks for more cargo space. Buried next to the great Pyramid of King Khufu was a small preserved wooden boat it lay there in pieces when it was reassembled it formed King Khufu’s boat so Egyptians believed that people sailed away to the afterlife on a boat. Queen Hatshepsut sent a fleet of 5 specially designed ships on an expedition to the land of Punt thought to lie on the east coast of Africa the expedition was a great success boats were very useful. So remember without the ancient Egyptians we could have still been in the 18th, 17th or even 16th century.
Medicine and Health in ancient Greece The Ancient Greeks were the newer and more modern ancient civilization. They built on to what the ancient Egyptians started and added some of their own things while doing it. Greeks were very interested in using scientific observation and logic to figure out what caused diseases and what you could do about them. This logical system began with the idea of humors, which was popular all over Europe and Asia at this time, in India and China as well as Greece. The doctors believed that people were made out of four substances: blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm (pronounced FLEM). If you were healthy, that was because your four humors were balanced. You had the right amount of each one. But if you had too much of one humor, you would be unbalanced and you would feel ill. These ideas were all wrong but still they had some correct ideas like the fact that having a dirty environment could cause illness. The Greeks looked at how the organs worked, and studied how a disease progresses they also did dissections to see what was inside the animal and human body they investigated how our minds work. Doctors set broken bones using wooden splints and possibly a little bit of metal and dressed wounds with plant fibers, oil, honey, and medicines made of plants and/or minerals and/or animals they performed surgeries using knives, forceps, tweezers, spoons, small saws and wooden and/or metal probes they had no anapestics or numbing potions while doing their surgery just like the ancient Egyptians except their medicineremedies were more effective. There were also doctor for animals but only very very few that only the rich could afford. They probably knew a bit about the pulse and the nervous system. Doctors looked at emotional and physical symptoms of a disease to diagnose the patient they mostly had external medicines. Olive oil was alsopossibly used as a medicine it was made by crushing olives with stones they taking the juice left and calling it Oliveoil. They did not have Sugar so they used flower scented Honey instead. Student Doctor had to swear an oath thatthey’ll live a “Pure and Holy” life. They made makeup from mineral pigments and plant or berry juices. Anaximander argues that humans cannot always have existed. The first living creatures, he believes, develop in water through the action of heat.
Astronomy, Clocks and Navigation in Ancient Greece Ancient Greek astronomy was like Ancient Egyptian astronomy but more advanced now I’m going to tell youa list of Greeks and what they discovered in astronomy astronomy was studied by all sorts of people Thales acquires fame by predicting a solar eclipse in 585 BC. Anaxagoras made important contributions to astronomy. He saw valleys, mountains and plains on the moon. He determined the cause of an eclipse. Herecognized that the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, and Mercury move. Eudoxus improved the sundial and made a map of the known stars. Speaking of Sundial Ancient Greeks used sundials but they weren’t aspopular as water clocks. Democritus realized the Milky Way was composed of millions of stars and that the moon is similar to Earth. Aristotle decided the earth must be a globe. Eratosthenes estimated the size of the earth. Euclid thought that light travels in straight lines or rays. . Aristarchus argued that the sun was about nineteen times the size and distance of the moon. Hippocrates of Nicaea was the first to discover the slow reorientation of the earths axis. Anaximander is credited with being the first man to attempt a map of the world. Anaximenes believed all is a natural phenomenon, rather than the work of a god. Ptolemy of Alexandria wrote a book was called the the big explanation. It is a summary of all astronomical knowledge of his age. Aristarchus of Samos estimated the distance of the sun from the Earth by observing the angle between the sun and the moon when it is exactly half full. Hipparchus of Nicea developed a system of planetary motion with the Earth at the center. He used data from a total eclipse of the sun and parallax to determine correctly the distance and size of the moon. Pytheas the Greek geographer and explorer. sailed into the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea where he observed the strong Atlantic tides. He correctly assumed that these were caused by the moon. Plato is said to have invented a water clock with an alarm. Speaking of Water Clock it was the most popular time keeping device it wasmodified. Andronikos of Kyrrhestes built in Athens the Tower of Winds, a water clock combined with solarclocks, the most famous time-keeping device of the Greeks. Greeks also used stars as maps for navigation they even had compasses. The Greeks developed philosophy as a way of understanding the world around them, without resorting to religion, myth, or magic. They used Astronomy to fix their calendar.
Greek Life Made Possible by Science in BuildingAncient Greek homes were made of Sun dried mud bricks and possibly metal roofs were made of baked clay tiles but the poor used straw in very very very few rich homes there was an innercourtyard a kitchen they used water a cauldron and a stirring mallet or stirring stick for cooking they had a storage room a bedroom a bathroom to get water they took it from a well and possible heated it up over a flame to get warm water they used a water filled bowl over a standor pedestal as a sing and they used a tub filled with warm water as a bathtub they stored water in jars. Some homes had heating from a fire place the heat from a flame heated up the house until finally the smoke comes out the chimney tier trash room was called a Flue. They also builtTemples from wood then they switched to stone so these guys knew about rocks they had metal mines and were able to mold and make some metals even glass slaves worked in mines in ancient Greece, Egypt and many more. They had painters, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, sculptors and rockcutters. Archimedes discovered the usefulness of the fulcrum, lever and other simple machines that the Egyptians did not discover theses aided them in their building he also discovered buoyancy. Also once Archimedes got into his bathtub he noticed that his body caused some of the water to spill over the side. That got him thinking about the amount of water that was displaced. He had discovered the principle of displacement. He then discovered a way tocalculate the volume of an irregular solid by submerging it in water and measuring the volume of water it displaced. They had water systems similar to the Ancient Egyptians. For eating they used spoons and knives they even had Democracy so they were pretty good with building just like the Egyptians. At some point they even transported messages by pigeon.
Military in Ancient GreeceAncient Greeks had types ships sort of like the Egyptians did for examplethere were boats for transportation, transportation of cargo, funerals forthe rich, and merchant and pleasure ships except their warships were bettertheir huge warships had a metal ram at the front ships had sails, and werepushed along by the wind. Small trading ships usually stayed close to theshore, so the sailors did not get lost. Before a voyage, the sailors prayed tothe sea god Poseidon, for a safe journey. Greek warships had oars as well assails. The largest warships had three banks of oar. The ship was about 35m/115 ft long. Some point really late in history they might have cannonsbecause from 1 of my sources it says “Archimedes was credited for creatingthe cannon.” Their ships usually had 2 decks they almost always used oars ansometimes had a few sails their ships were made from wood and metal fromthe ships they could shoot arrows sometimes they set the arrows on firethen shot them to set the enemy ship on fire they had Fleets or Navies theirships could also ram into the other enemy ship they had shields, Armor,Daggers, Spears, Swords, Javelins, Knives, Ballista, Carroballistas, Catapults,Gastraphetes, Lithoboloses, Oxybeles, Polybolos, Early battering rams andBows and Arrows.
Conclusion So remember both ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt have impacted today many of their medicine remedies, building tactics and tools and inventions are still in use today except they’re modified without their science we would still be in the18th century and without sciencewe’d still be cavemen in terms of development.
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