Researchers Cracked the Mathematical Secrets behind Ancient Babylonian Tablet

babylonian tablet
A mysterious Babylonian tablet has been blatantly circulating the world for 100 years without allowing scientists to solve its mysteries. The American archaeologist Edgar Banks who is supposedly the real Indiana Jones discovered the ancient treasure in the early 1900s in Iraq. From there the tablet transitioned to George Arthur Plimpton in 1922 for a handsome sum of money. However, a team of researchers managed to crack the mathematical secrets that the tablet dubbed Plimpton 322 has been hiding in plain sight for a century.

Researchers at the University of New South Wales Understood the Tablet Employed a Base Number of 60

The University of New South Wales identified the Babylonian tablet as one of the oldest vestiges of trigonometry from the ancient world. The journal Historia Mathematica published the findings of the researchers from this institution. They succeeded to read the content of the tablet and suggested several uses for such a tool.

The tablet seems to display an arrangement of 15 rows with four columns. According to the UNSW scientists, the trigonometric system employs a base number of 60. This strategy enabled Babylonians to skip fractions and derive integers.

The Mathematical Secrets of the Tablet Are Actually Equations Babylonians Used to Calculate the Measurements for Pyramid Slopes

Researcher Norman Wildberger stated that the team was able to identify ratios and not angles. These findings indicate that the tablet was an education tool that offered the genius study of triangles. The top row contains relatively equal ratios that represent near equilateral triangles. The more people go down the rows of the tablet, the smaller inclinations are which translate in narrower triangles.

“It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius.”

After all these findings, researchers concluded that the mathematical secrets that the Babylonian tablet guarded for so many years are actually guidelines for survey fields or building constructions. For instance, ancient workers were able to find the right measurements they needed to build pyramid slopes as long as they knew simple things like the height and width of the construction.
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