Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 287–309 | Cite as

Geometry and Proportions in the Funeral Chapel of Sarenput II

  • Juan Antonio Martínez Hermoso
  • Fernando Martínez Hermoso
  • Francisco de Paula Montes Tubío
  • Alejandro Jiménez Serrano


This paper analyzes the geometry and proportions of the funeral chapel of Sarenput II, built some 4,000 years ago in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Egypt. The analysis is done with the utmost respect for ancient sources, and in particular for Egyptian mathematical knowledge. In a first general analysis, the different parts that make up the chapel are analysed in terms of both volume and surface. Later, the most representative elements, the hypostyle hall and sanctuary are studied in greater detail. Here, we encounter geometric shapes that are very close to the ratios √2, 2/√3 and √2/√3, which are derived from simple geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles √2 and equilateral triangles. Ancient Egyptians could achieve their approximations by unit fractions in accordance with the Egyptian system of numerical notation. Finally, with the data obtained, the study proposes a hypothesis about the possible design method of the funeral chapel.


Ancient Egypt Design analysis Commensurables Diagonal Equilateral triangle Equilibrium Funerary architecture Geometry Hypostyle hall Incommensurables Irrational numbers Measurement Middle Kingdom Modules Necropolis of Qubbet El-Hawa Proportion Ratio Rational numbers Square Symmetry Trigonometry 12th Dynasty 


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Antonio Martínez Hermoso
    • 1
  • Fernando Martínez Hermoso
    • 1
  • Francisco de Paula Montes Tubío
    • 2
  • Alejandro Jiménez Serrano
    • 3
  1. 1.JaénSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ingeniería Gráfica y GeomáticaUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  3. 3.Area de Historia Antigua, Facultad de HumanidadesUniversidad de JaénJaénSpain

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