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Reading Numbers

When perusing or creating ancient Egyptian writing involving math, remember that the higher number always comes before the lower number. Death by disease infested vermin to those who break this rule (Egyptians took math seriously.) If two rows of numbers are present than the top is read first. Example: |==||=, the first | would be read, then the top row, next the bottom row, then the next |, etc.

Egyptian Numbers:

  • A long streak "|" = 1.
  • An arch "(^) (not quite like this, it's a smooth arch created with one stroke) = 10
  • A coil "@" = 100
  • A lotus plant "&-»-" (only vertical and takes up two rows) = 1,000
  • A finger "!" (close enough, also takes up two rows) = 10,000
  • A frog "(yea right, takes up two rows)" = 100,000
  • A representation of a god with arms raised (takes up two rows) = 1 million


Example Problem:

If ||| pyramids have &-»-(vertical)@@@(^)(^)(^)(^)||
bricks,                             @@   (^)(^)(^)

how many bricks are needed to build |||||| pyramids?

Answer: 3,148

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