Thursday, 5 August 2021

Babylonian proto-trigonometry predates Greek

Our understanding of trigonometry dates to ancient Greek astronomers studying celestial bodies. Now it appears the ancient Babylonians likely developed their own “proto-trigonometry” more than 1,000 years before the Greeks. A 3,700-year-old cadastral survey, Si.427, depicts a surveyor’s plan of a field. It is one of the oldest examples of applied geometry from the ancient world.
The need for accurate surveying is apparent from ancient writings. Measuring rope and the unit rod were tools of the trade. These were revered symbols of fairness and justice in ancient Babylon and were often seen in the hands of goddesses and kings.