Mathematician Finds Pythagorean Triples On Ancient Babylonian Tablet

A University of New South Wales, Sydney mathematician has discovered the oldest example of applied geometry ever recorded, the university’s newsroom reports . The tablet illustrates the use of Pythagorean triples in dividing land, 1,100 years before the geometric principle was recorded by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras.

On a 3,700-year-old Babylonian clay tablet map recovered in Iraq more than 100 years ago, Dr. Daniel Mansfield has identified an advanced form of mathematics that was used to divide a large plot of land into geometrically precise sections. Amazingly, this applied geometry relied on a mathematical principle that wouldn’t be officially discovered until another 11 centuries had passed.

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