How Was Mathematics Used in Ancient Times?

Mathematics has been an integral part of human civilization for thousands of years. The ancient civilizations used mathematics in various aspects of their lives, such as architecture, astronomy, and commerce. In this article, we will take a closer look at how mathematics was used in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to develop a complex system of mathematics. They used mathematics primarily for practical purposes such as measuring land and building structures like pyramids and temples. The Egyptians developed a unique number system based on the number 10, which they used in their counting and measuring systems.

One of the most famous mathematical achievements of the ancient Egyptians was the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. This papyrus is a collection of mathematical problems and solutions that date back to around 1650 BC. It contains various topics like arithmetic, geometry, and fractions.

Ancient Greek Mathematics

The Greeks are known for their contributions to philosophy, art, and science. Mathematics was also a significant area of study for the Greeks. They made significant advances in geometry and trigonometry.

One of the most famous Greek mathematicians was Euclid, who wrote the book “Elements.” This book is a collection of definitions, postulates, propositions, and proofs that formed the foundation for modern geometry.

Ancient Babylonian Mathematics

The Babylonians were another civilization that made significant contributions to mathematics. They developed a sophisticated number system based on 60 instead of 10 like most other civilizations.

The Babylonians also developed advanced techniques for solving equations and calculating square roots. One example is the Babylonian method for approximating square roots using successive approximations.


In conclusion, mathematics played an essential role in ancient civilizations’ daily lives. From measuring land to building structures to solving complex mathematical problems, mathematics was an integral part of their society. The knowledge and techniques developed by these civilizations laid the foundation for modern mathematics and continue to influence modern-day mathematics.