Geometry First Used by Ancient BabyloniansCraig Dalton (Author) Published Date : Jan 29, 2016 19:08 ET
Sophisticated geometry a branch of math that deals with different shapes, was used as many as 1,400 years prior to previously thought, a new study suggests.
New research shows that Ancient Babylonians used geometrical calculations as a way to track the planet Jupiter in the night sky.
I was thought previously, that the origins of that technique were during the 14th Century.
The author of the new study, Professor Mathieu Ossendrijver is from Berlin s Humboldt University. He says he was not expecting this.
Ancient Babylonians at one time lived in what is now Syria and Iraq. The civilization is believed to have first emerged back in 1,800 BC.
Tablets made of clay with the Cuneiform writing systems of the Babylonians show the people were advanced when it came to astronomy.
Ossendrijver said they wrote daily reports about what was seen in the night sky and it was done over a long period, over, centuries said the professor.
However, this new research shows the Ancient Babylonians also were very ahead in math.
It was thought that complex geometry was not used until scholars in Paris and Oxford used in during medieval times.
Curves were used to trace the velocity and position of different moving objects.
However, it is now believed by scientists that the Babylonians developed the technique in 350 BC.
Five tablets used by Babylonians were examined by researchers. The tablets had been excavated back during the 19th century.
The script on the tablets reveals they were using shapes with four sides, known as trapezoids to calculate when Jupiter appeared in the sky and the speed as well as distance it travelled.
The professor said that what was so special was that the type of graph found that tracked the movement of Jupiter is not know from antiquity so making figures of motion in the rather abstract velocity against time field, is something very new.
Geometry First Used by Ancient Babylonians