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ERIC Number: EJ923686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Chemistry in the Time of the Pharaohs
Loyson, Peter
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n2 p146-150 Feb 2011
The Egyptians were known in the ancient world as experts in many applied chemistry fields such as metallurgy, wine and beer making, glass making, paper manufacture, paint pigments, dyes, cosmetics, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. They made significant developments in the extraction of metals from their ores, especially copper and gold. The Egyptians developed a writing surface from the papyrus plant and used naturally occurring inorganic salts as paint pigments; they also made the first synthetic pigment, Egyptian blue, developed as early as 3000 B.C.E. The Leyden and Stockholm papyri give information on numerous chemical processes, dating to about 300 C.E., but copied from earlier sources. This article describes an overview of the various chemical activities that took place in ancient Egypt from which it can be deduced that the ancient Egyptians were among the first practicing chemists. In fact the word "chemistry" can be traced to the name the ancients used when referring to ancient Egypt. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Egypt