I was surprised to read an article on CNN about Babylonian mathematics. Here’s an excerpt.

Over 1,000 years before Pythagoras was calculating the length of a hypotenuse, sophisticated scribes in Mesopotamia were working with the same theory to calculate the area of their farmland.

Working on clay tablets, students would “write” out their math problems in cuneiform script, a method that involved making wedge-shaped impressions in the clay with a blunt reed.

These tablets bear evidence of practical as well as more advanced theoretical math and show just how sophisticated the ancient Babylonians were with numbers — more than a millennium before Pythagoras and Euclid were doing the same in ancient Greece.

“They are the most sophisticated mathematics from anywhere in the world at that time,” said Alexander Jones, a Professor of the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity at New York University.

He is co-curator of “Before Pythagoras: The Culture of Old Babylonian Mathematics“, an exhibition at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York.

. . .

It took a young Austrian mathematician in the 1920s, named Otto Neugebauer, to crack the mathematical system and work out what the ancient Babylonians were calculating. But despite his advances, it is only recently that interest in Babylonian math has started to take hold.

“I think that before Neugebauer and even after Neugebauer, there wasn’t a lot of attention placed on mathematical training in Babylon even though we have this rich cuneiform history with the tablets,” said Jennifer Chi, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Public Programs at Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

. . .

And though ancient Babylonia is often referred to in popular culture as a “lost” world, in fact much more evidence of mathematical learning from the period exists than from ancient Greece, said Chi.

There’s more at the link.

Intrigued, I decided to do a bit more research. I was frankly amazed by what I found. Babylonian mathematics is a subject that’s only recently achieved prominence, with the deciphering of its numerals, symbols and techniques. It’s proven to have been remarkably advanced. I never knew, for example, that it was Babylon which first divided the day into 24 hours of 60 minutes each, with 60 seconds in each minute, almost 4,000 years ago.

It’s claimed that the most famous Babylonian mathematical ‘document’ is Plimpton 322, a clay tablet purchased from an antiquities dealer in 1922/23. It’s said to show a table of four columns and fifteen rows of numbers in Cuneiform script.

I never realized that so much had recently come to light about Babylonian mathematics. A Google search lists tens of thousands of results about the subject. I can see I’m going to have to read up more about it, and discover what I’ve been missing.

Peter

The secular world view that man started out primitive and then advanced slowly over time has been getting pummeled by archaeological evidence for a long time, but such evidence usually never makes it to the general public because it doesn't conform to evolutionary theory.

Can't have any of that, now, can we.

Translate the numbers on the tablet into modern numerals and put the result onto a spreadsheet and you'll probably be able to tell what they were doing.

In the left-hand column there appear to be words included with the numbers. The thing appears to be read from right to left with sums or products and units on the left.

I'm afraid you all are forgetting that God made Adam fully programed with all this 2000 years preflood. Then you have Noah who can build a ship the size he did and you don't think that shipbuilding does'nt use math???? What are you thinking???

Fascinating! I don't see a zero though.

Antibubba