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Plimpton 322 clay tablet. Source: Public Domain.

Were the Ancient Babylonians Far More Advanced Than We Thought? (Video)


Plimpton 322, a 3,800-year-old ancient clay tablet, stands as a testament to the astounding mathematical prowess of the Babylonians. Dating back centuries before ancient Greece, this artifact reveals their unparalleled understanding of Pythagorean triples. While the concept was thought to have originated much later, the Babylonians demonstrated a sophistication that exceeded expectations. Beyond the realm of astronomy, the Babylonians applied their unique comprehension of right triangles and rectangles to surveying the land. Si 427, another remarkable tablet, showcases their mastery of geometry in creating precise boundaries. As private landownership emerged, their accurate surveying techniques proved invaluable in settling disputes.

Plimpton 322 not only showcases practical applications but also delves into the realm of pure mathematics. Through the analysis of regular-sided rectangles, the Babylonians engaged in curiosity-driven exploration, seeking knowledge for its own sake. These ancient tablets, buried beneath the sands of Iraq, offer glimpses into a world where mathematics was understood with depth and complexity. As we uncover more of these clay tablets, we are poised to unravel further surprises from the lost cities of Babylon. The Babylonian understanding of mathematics challenges our preconceptions and highlights the advanced nature of their civilization.

Top image: Plimpton 322 clay tablet. Source: Public Domain.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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