Overlapping Circles Grid Drawn with Compass and Straightedge on an Egyptian Artifact of 14th Century BC

18 Mar 2016  ·  Sparavigna Amelia Carolina, Baldi Mauro Maria ·

The study of the mathematics and geometry of ancient civilizations is a task which seems to be very difficult or even impossible to fulfil, if few written documents, or none at all, had survived from the past. However, besides the direct information that we can have from written documents, we can gain some indirect evidence on mathematics and geometry also from the analysis of the decorations we find on artifacts... Here, for instance, we will show that ancient Egyptians were able of making geometric constructions using compass and straightedge, quite before the Greek Oenopides of Chois, who lived around 450 BC, had declared some of their basic principles. In fact, a wood panel covered by an overlapping circles grid pattern, found in the tomb of Kha, an architect who served three kings of 18th Dynasty (1400-1350 BC), evidences that some simple constructions with compass and straightedge were used in ancient Egypt about nine centuries before Oenopides' time. read more

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