The ancient Egyptians used a system of arithmetic based on the concept of unit fractions, which are fractions that have a numerator of 1 and a denominator that is a positive integer. This system was very efficient for performing calculations with fractions, but it was not well suited for handling large numbers. To represent large numbers, the ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphic symbols, which were written using a combination of vertical and horizontal strokes. For example, the hieroglyphic symbol for the number 1,000 was a simple picture of a lotus flower, 10,000 was a pointed finger and 100,000 was represented by the picture of tadpole.

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