ICE Florence

International Congress of Egyptologists XI


August 23rd – 30th 2015, Florence (Italy)



Marianne Michel, Université catholique de Louvain
« A new reading of the problem 53 of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus »


The problem 53 of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus deals with the computation of several areas included in one single triangle.

The problem begins with the figure of a triangle, including two partitioning internal lines, that is annotated with various measures written in black or red ink. Below the figure, a very succinct text of 13 lines lacks an introduction or conclusion and provides only 3 calculations that must be linked with the measures of the figure.

The purpose of this paper is to present a consistent and innovative reading restoring the aim of the entire problem.