math in cuneiform

I’m no mathematician but I’d like to point you to a fascinating review in the New York Times: Masters of Math, From Old Babylon. I wish I could see this this exhibition in person, however the online information and photos are very good. These clay tablets used in ancient mathematics predate Pythagoras by more than a thousand years, so they are truly an incredible discovery.

I like the look of cuneiform script as a type of ancient writing on tablets and I particularly love them just as sculptural art forms. I recall last year admiring the (non-math) cuneiform tablets in the British Museum such as the one below which I scanned from a BM postcard I’d picked up. It is very much younger being only from the 7th century BC.



Related in a fun way is this long ago post on cuneiform writing.

November 29, 2010 in History, Rock Art & Archaeology by Marja-Leena