Long distances were measured by counting the days or months it took to traverse them.They were therefore dependent on the means of transportation and the route used, which meant shipping and the river Nile in the case of Egypt, and not distances "as the crow flies".
At night hour-priests were seemingly performing services in anticipation of the rising of the Sothis.
The appropriate time for beginning and ending them was decided upon by the hour-priest in his role of "observer of the hour", the jmj-wnw.t, based on the position of the sun and stars.
was represented by an abstraction of the hieroglyphic signs making it up: nine was written as , which one can still recognize as a cursive version of nine vertical strokes, but fifty, written as , has lost any such visual connection.
Numbers between 1 and 10,000 needed therefore a maximum of 4 signs, making the text concise.
Cattle were among the most expensive investments a peasant could make.
In Egypt they furnished the power for the cultivation of the fields, but otherwise they were little exploited: their milk yield - it was seemingly the docile cows rather than the stronger but less amenable males whose strength was harnessed - was low and dropped even lower during plough time, and the ordinary person rarely ate beef.
There was an additional way of representing large numbers, writing the signs for the multiplier underneath the sign for a multiplicand - 300,000 was thus represented by the tadpole sign above three single strokes. In hieroglyphics, on the other hand, the seven basic numerals were generally repeated as needed: 9999 would have been written using nine ones, tens, hundreds and thousands, a total of 36 signs, somewhat cumbersome and easily misread.
The system of multiplicand above multiplier was also used occasionally.
Water clocks were generally bowls of stone or pottery which had a small hole at the bottom through which the water could run out.
The inside of the bowl had markings where the level of the remaining water could be determined.
To this purpose both the day and the night were divided into twelve hours.