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 Egyptian nilometer, lithography by David Roberts, 1840

Number theory is one of the oldest branches of pure mathematics that looks at both irrational and rational numbers.  They develop theorems to show how numbers are related to each other in different situations.   Formulas that compare number systems are actually derived from real situations and find the pattern that make the formula always true.  Formulas make measurement easier.

Measurement has been used by ancient civilization for thousands of years to solve problems.  The first standard system of weights and measures has been traced to the Egyptians and Babylonians.  The Egyptians in about 2500 BC used a measurement known as the cubit to measure distances.  A cubit was the length of your elbow to the tip of your middle finger (approximately 52 cm). Since everyone has different measurements in their body the cubit was not standardized until the Pharaoh’s cubit measurement was placed in stone as the royal cubit.  The Egyptians even measured flood conditions on the Nile by using an instrument called a nilometer.   They would record the data to help predict planting of crops and compare the different seasons.

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