Ancient Egyptian Science for Kids

Ancient Egyptian Science

Nilometer on Elephantine Island (Nile Valley Tours)

Egyptian scientists were generally most interested in observing nature and practical engineering, and they were very good at both of these things. The pyramids and temples, for example, show good knowledge of geometry and engineering. Egyptian engineers used the Pythagorean theorem, thousands of years before Pythagoras was born.

Because the Nile flood was so important to Egyptian farming, scientists also worked out good ways to measure how high the flood was going each year, and kept accurate records and good calendars. You can see here how the Egyptian wrote down numbers. The device they used to measure the height of the Nile flood is called a Nilometer (ny-LA-muh-terr).

They also worked out good ways to move water from the Nile to outlying farms in the desert, using hand-powered irrigation pumps (shadufs) and canals.

It may also have been Egyptian scientists who first figured out how to make yeast-rising bread.

To find out more about Egyptian science, check out these books from or from your library:

Science in Ancient Egypt, by Geraldine Woods (1998). For kids.

Technology in the Time of Ancient Egypt, by Judith Crosher (1998). Also for kids. Includes some activities for kids to try at home or at school.

African science
African Mathematics
West Asian science
A project to make an Egyptian Shaduf
Egyptian food
Egyptian environment
Main Egypt page
Main science page

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