The oldest Babylonian tablet can rewrite history of world mathematics

The oldest Babylonian tablet can rewrite the history of world mathematicsA photo from open sources

We all know from school that mathematics in general, that is, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and so on, originated in Ancient Greece. However, as it turned out, the Babylonian tablet on the stone undermines this information, and therefore can rewrite history the emergence of mathematics.

The oldest Babylonian tablet (artifact Plimpton 322, which at least 3,700 years) was found in southern Iraq approximately at the end of the year before last – the beginning of the last century (the exact date of the find is not installed). For a long time, characters and hieroglyphs inscribed on it were not available for decryption, although such attempts undertaken continuously.

And on the Internet, a message appeared that the oldest the Babylonian tablet is finally deciphered. As it turned out, artifact Plimpton 322 is dedicated to mathematics, or rather – describes an unknown hitherto form of trigonometry (based on parsing shapes of right triangles), based not on circles and corners, as well-known to us, but on ratios. In addition, the tablet contains the oldest and also the most complete trigonometric table.

Journalists immediately started talking about the fact that today’s opening scientists can rewrite the history of mathematics since the father of trigonometry was still considered the astronomer Hipparchus, who lived in Ancient Greece in the second century BC. At least he was the first who managed to compile a chord table, which is considered an analog modern tables of trigonometric functions. And suddenly it turns out that trigonometric tables existed another four thousand years back.

However, is it so important who should be considered the father of trigonometry, where more interesting is the fact that the Babylonian tablet shows completely A new view of this section of mathematics. World luminaries of mathematics have not yet spoken on this subject, it must be assumed that not all as simple and unambiguous as it is presented by journalists of the same Russian Dialogue. However, the fact that the Plimpton artifact 322 is finally decrypted, it can already be considered a big event in world science – even without regard to what was on it traced …

Ancient artifacts

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