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Fragments of Rhind Mathematical Papyrus

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This papyrus was most likely a mathematical reference textbook for the use of scribes. These fragments became separated from the main papyrus when the roll was broken into two parts, probably at the time of its discovery in the mid-nineteenth century.

The fragments seen in the upper register, and those few on the right, are from the end of a section that dealt with the simplification of fractions. The fragments in the five lower registers on the left come from the beginning of the section that demonstrated the equitable division of one, two, six, seven, eight, and nine loaves of bread among ten men.
MEDIUM Papyrus, ink
  • Reportedly From: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1493–1481 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS Largest Fragment: 6 5/16 x 3 3/8 in. (16 x 8.5 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.1784Ea-b
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A number of fragments from the end of the 1st section of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. Section deals with the division of 2 by the numbers 3-101 and a section from the middle of the 2nd register dealing with division by 10. There are 3 large fragments and a dozen or so small fragments.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Fragments of Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, ca. 1493–1481 B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, Largest Fragment: 6 5/16 x 3 3/8 in. (16 x 8.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1784Ea-b (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1784e_transpc005.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1784e_transpc005.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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