Calculating the area of a square, rectangle, and trapezoid

“The Egyptians had always had death, but with wealth and settlement, they now also had taxes. Taxes were perhaps the first imperative for the development of geometry, for although in theory the Pharaoh owned all land and possessions, in reality temples and even private individuals owned real estate. The government assessed land taxes based on the height of the year’s flood and the surface area of the holdings. Those who refused to pay might be beaten into submission on the spot by the police. Borrowing was possible but the interest rate was based on a “keep it simple” philosophy: 100 percent per year. Since much was at stake, the Egyptians developed fairly reliable, if tortuous, methods of calculating the area of a square, rectangle, and trapezoid.”

Excerpt From: Leonard Mlodinow. “Euclid’s Window.” – Amazon Link