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Greek and Muslim Egyptian mathematicians are well known throughout the world. But the only Ancient Egyptian mathematician I know of is Ahmes, who said he's just a scribe. Who were the greatest Egyptian mathematicians of Ancient times?

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  • $\begingroup$ At the time "scribe" was like a wizard. He could read and write, he used scrolls for that, and it happened in very direct relation with social power. It was much more than someone like a secretary today. Beside that, that he also could calculate, how many big boulders are needed into the next pyramide, there was not so much difference. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Feb 2, 2022 at 9:35

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We don't know. The documents we have concerning Egyptian and Babylonian Mathematics do not contain the names of their creators.

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"But the only Ancient Egyptian mathematician I know of is Ahmes, who said he's just a scribe."

Because in Ancient Egypt math was just a tool to solve real problems (ex: inheritance, accounting, inventory control, ...). Although math was highly developed there compared to other civilizations, there were no mathematician as a profession neither as a thinker.

What existed there was some kind of training in math. Which can be seen in the only two original sources of math info about the Ancient Egypt:

  • Moscow Mathematical Papyrus
  • Rhind Mathematical Papyrus

Both are likely math exercises to train future scribes. Ahmes (btw, a common name in Egypt) just transcribed such math exercises from an older and lost source. And, based on the solutions of such exercises, it is possible to infer that there were no concept of mathematical proof at that time. As long as the answer was correct, it doesn't matter what steps were taken.

AFAIK, it required 1500 years for this mindset to change. The Ancient Greeks were actually the first ones to embrace logic and develop rigorous mathematical proofs. Thus allowing the emergence of the first mathematicians (ex: Thales of Miletus).

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