Egyptian Architecture and Mathematics

  • Corinna RossiEmail author
Living reference work entry


An analysis of the relationship between mathematics and architecture in ancient Egypt requires, first of all, an analysis of the terms involved in the discussion. Mathematics, mathematicians, architecture, and architect are modern terms that convey a range of meanings that may or may not find a precise correspondence in the ancient Egyptian culture. Textual, iconographic, and archaeological sources provide a significant amount of pieces of the puzzle representing the complex task of building a monument, and yet some important aspects still remain unclear.

Mathematical knowledge was deeply intertwined with the architectural practice, but defining its nature and boundaries is not easy. The extant mathematical texts are schoolbooks and cast a relatively limited light on the way in which numbers and geometrical figures were used in the planning and building process; in particular, it is difficult to establish who decided the shape and the dimensions of the buildings and of their architectural elements. The overall impression is that building a monument was a collective enterprise, carried out by a long line of individuals, the majority of whom remained anonymous.


Ancient Egypt Architecture Mathematics Scribe Reckoning 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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