Baby­lo­ni­ans were first to study trigonom­e­try

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -

Syd­ney sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered the pur­pose of a fa­mous 3,700-year old Baby­lo­nian clay tablet, re­veal­ing it is the world’s old­est and most ac­cu­rate trigono­met­ric ta­ble, pos­si­bly used by an­cient math­e­mat­i­cal scribes to cal­cu­late how to con­struct palaces and tem­ples and build canals.

The new re­search shows the Baby­lo­ni­ans, not the Greeks, were the first to study trigonom­e­try – the study of tri­an­gles – and re­veals an an­cient math­e­mat­i­cal so­phis­ti­ca­tion that had been hid­den un­til now.

Known as Plimp­ton 322, the small tablet was dis­cov­ered in the early 1900s in what is now south­ern Iraq by ar­chae­ol­o­gist, aca­demic, diplo­mat and an­tiq­ui­ties dealer Edgar Banks, the person on whom the fic­tional char­ac­ter In­di­ana Jones was based. For more on this story see www.pastho­ri­

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