Mesopotamian Mathematics 2100-1600 BC

Book Details

Author  Eleanor Robson
Publisher  Clarendon Press
Publication Date   July 29, 1999
ISBN  0198152469
Pages  352

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Mathematics was integral to Mesopotamian scribal culture: indeed, writing was invented towards the end of the fourth millennium B.C. for the express purpose of recording numericalatical information. The main body of this book is a mathematical and philological discussion of the two hundred technical constants, or "coefficients", found in early second millennium mathematics. Their names and mathematical functions are established, leading to improved interpretations of several large mathematical topics. The origins of many coefficients--and much of the more practical mathematics--are traced to late third millennium accounting and quantity surveying practices. Finally, the coefficients are used to examine some aspects of mathematics education in early Mesopotamia.

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