
# 7.2: Egyptian Fractions

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The Egyptians used a pictorial number system, with different symbols for every power of 10 to 1 000 000.

Example $$\PageIndex{1}$$:

Egyptian fractions can only have 1 as the numerator: ¼, 1/16, 1/137 etc. As a result, any fraction with numerator > 1 must be written as a combination of some set of Egyptian fractions:

• 2/4 = ½
• 5/16 = ¼ + 1/16

Example $$\PageIndex{2}$$:

What if there were only 4 pizzas to be split amongst 8 friends?

5/8 = 1/2 + 1/8

Exercise $$\PageIndex{1}$$

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