Volume of Square Pyramidal Frustum

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The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus contains 25 problems [1], but is particularly known for its geometrical problems numbers 10 and 14. The method described in problem 14 is exactly the one used today and entails calculating the volume of a whole pyramid. Therefore, even if no mathematical problem involving the volume of a whole pyramid has survived, it is clear the ancient Egyptians knew how to calculate it. Problem 14 states that a pyramid has been truncated in such a way that the top area is a square of length 2, the bottom a square of length 4 and the height 6. Use this Demonstration to explore the volume of a square pyramidal frustum expressed in hieratic numerals as the ancient Egyptians would have done.

Contributed by: Bernat Espigule (December 2020)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




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