# A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical TextsOld Babylonian Hand Tablets with Geometric Exercises

A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts: Old Babylonian Hand Tablets with... Old Babylonian Hand Tablets with Geometric Exercises There are nine hand tablets with drawings of geometric figures in the Schøyen Collection. Five of the illus- trated hand tablets are round, the other four are square or rectangular. The only text on the nine tablets consists of relative sexagesimal numbers or area numbers. Each tablet will be considered separately below, but in order to facilitate comparisons of format, size, and content, hand copies and conform transliterations of the tablets are grouped together in Figs. 8.1.1 - 2 and 8.2.2 below. 8.1. Triangles and Trapezoids 8.1 a. MS 3042. The Area of a Triangle MS 3042 (Fig. 8.1.1, top) is a square clay tablet with a crude drawing of a triangle on the obverse, together with some numbers. The reverse is empty. The numbers 3 and 5 40 along the sides of the triangle indicate the lengths of the short side (Sum. sag ‘front’) and the long side, or the height (Sum. u\$ ‘length’, ‘flank’). (Old Babylonian teachers did not bother to distinguish between the height and the long side of a triangle when teach- ing young students elementary geometry.) These sexagesimal numbers in relative place value notation have to be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

# A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical TextsOld Babylonian Hand Tablets with Geometric Exercises

40 pages

/lp/springer-journals/a-remarkable-collection-of-babylonian-mathematical-texts-old-u4uot9s8Eo
Publisher
Springer New York
ISBN
978-0-387-34543-7
Pages
189 –229
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-48977-3_8
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

### Abstract

Old Babylonian Hand Tablets with Geometric Exercises There are nine hand tablets with drawings of geometric figures in the Schøyen Collection. Five of the illus- trated hand tablets are round, the other four are square or rectangular. The only text on the nine tablets consists of relative sexagesimal numbers or area numbers. Each tablet will be considered separately below, but in order to facilitate comparisons of format, size, and content, hand copies and conform transliterations of the tablets are grouped together in Figs. 8.1.1 - 2 and 8.2.2 below. 8.1. Triangles and Trapezoids 8.1 a. MS 3042. The Area of a Triangle MS 3042 (Fig. 8.1.1, top) is a square clay tablet with a crude drawing of a triangle on the obverse, together with some numbers. The reverse is empty. The numbers 3 and 5 40 along the sides of the triangle indicate the lengths of the short side (Sum. sag ‘front’) and the long side, or the height (Sum. u\$ ‘length’, ‘flank’). (Old Babylonian teachers did not bother to distinguish between the height and the long side of a triangle when teach- ing young students elementary geometry.) These sexagesimal numbers in relative place value notation have to be

Published: Jan 1, 2007

Keywords: Equilateral Triangle; Area Number; Regular Hexagon; Open Gate; Mathematical Text