Egyptian Math Problems

#1 A wall painter was depicting the life and times of the Pharaoh Cheops within his tomb deep inside the Great Pyramid at Giza.  The wall on which the man was painting was 17 feet wide and 35 feet high.  On the first day of his work, he painted an area 3 feet by 3 feet; on the second day, an area 2 feet by 5 feet; on the third day, an area 3 feet by 4 feet.  On the fourth day, once again, he completed an area 3 feet by 3 feet.  This rate of completion remained the same for the entire time it took the painter to illustrate the wall.  How many days did it take to finish painting the wall within Cheops’ tomb?

#2 Cheops’ final monument, the Great Pyramid at Giza, contains 2,300,000 limestone and granite stones weighing an average of two and a half tons each.  Reliable estimates say it took 20 years to build this pyramid.  If work was conducted 10 hours a day, seven days a week, how many stones were delivered each and every hour to the building site?

#3 A rock quarry in the eastern desert not far from the site of the Great Pyramid furnished much of the books needed for its completion. If a team of 32 men could quarry one block every 67 minutes (on average), how many men would have been employed in the quarry?  Use the answer from problem #2 to help you. (Round to the nearest whole number).

3 thoughts on “Egyptian Math Problems

  1. You think the Egyptians had problems?…

    #1 – Obviously a trick question! The Egyptians had no feet!! Well, they had feet but they didn’t measure with them. They measured with fingers, palms and cubits.

    #2 – If they only worked 10 hours a day, you can’t really say that stones were delivered each and every hour because no stones were being delivered if they weren’t working for the other 14 hours.

    #3 – I think the books were actually going to the Great Library in Alexandria.

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