Friday, November 13, 2009

Scribe Post for November 13, 2009

Hi Guys ! Im Muriel and Im your scribe for today. Im researching about the Sumerians/Babylonians and their math.

As usual, other people are working on robotics and other people are working on the research. so here it goes....

Babylonian mathematics or Assyro-Babylonian mathematics refers to any mathematics of the peoples of Mesopotamia, from the days of the early Sumerians to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC.
Babylonian mathematical texts are plentiful and well edited. In respect of time they fall in two distinct groups: one from the Old Babylonian period which is 1830-1531 BC, the other mainly Seleucid from the last three or four centuries B.C. In respect of content there is scarcely any difference between the two groups of texts. Thus Babylonian mathematics remained constant, in character and content, for nearly two millennia. In contrast to the scarcity of sources in Egyptian mathematics, our knowledge of Babylonian mathematics is derived from some 400 clay tablets unearthed since the 1850s. Written in Cuneiform script, tablets were inscribed while the clay was moist, and baked hard in an oven or by the heat of the sun. The majority of recovered clay tablets date from 1800 to 1600 BC, and cover topics which include fractions, algebra, quadratic and cubic equations and the Pythagorean theorem. The Babylonian tablet YBC 7289 gives an approximation to accurate to five decimal places.

The Sumerians developed a complex system of metrology from 3000 BC. From 2600 BC, the Sumerians wrote multiplication tables on clay tablets and dealt with geometrical exercises and division problems. The earliest traces of the Babylonian numerals also date back to this period.

The Babylonians made extensive use of pre-calculated tables to assist with arithmetic.

Babylonian mathematicians also developed algebraic methods of solving equations.

I hope you learned something about my research and for the next scribe.. I choose Beatrix.
Thanks for reading!! (:

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