In our society, we use the Arabic number system. That is, we use ten digits ($0-9$0−9) and we can make bigger numbers by combining these digits to indicate their place value is increasing.

However, there are other number systems, like Roman numerals, which we have already learnt about.

Another number system we are going to look at are Egyptian numerals. These are similar to Roman numerals in that it is a unary system. In other words, it uses symbols to represent different numbers and, like when we tally scores, the number of times a symbol is repeated indicates the number of times it should be counted.

However, Egyptian numerals use $10$10 as a base just like the Arabic system as shown in the diagram below.

One advantage of unary systems is that it doesn't matter what order you write the number, you can still add up the symbols and work out what it means. However, in the Arabic number system, $539$539 is different to $395$395 - the order here is VERY important.

Let's run through some examples now to see how Egyptian numbers work!

Worked Examples

Question 1

These examples show how to convert from Egyptian to normal numerals.