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Robson's research (2001, 2002), published by the Mathematical Association of America, notes that Plimpton 322 can be interpreted as the following values, for regular number values of x and 1/x in numerical order: In this interpretation, x and 1/x would have appeared on the tablet in the broken-off portion to the left of the first column.For instance, row 11 of Plimpton 322 can be generated in this way for x = 2.They always used the positive root because this made sense when solving "real" problems.Problems of this type included finding the dimensions of a rectangle given its area and the amount by which the length exceeds the width.Robson points out that Plimpton 322 reveals mathematical "methods -— reciprocal pairs, cut-and-paste geometry, completing the square, dividing by regular common factors -— [which] were all simple techniques taught in scribal schools" of that time period.Though the table was formerly popularly interpreted by leading mathematicians as a listing of Pythagorean triples and trigonometric functions, in 2002 the Mathematical Association of America published Robson's research and (in 2003) awarded her with the Lester R.In contrast to the scarcity of sources in Egyptian mathematics, our knowledge of Babylonian mathematics is derived from some 400 clay tablets unearthed since the 1850s.
Based on one interpretation of the Plimpton 322 cuneiform tablet (circa 1900 BC), some have even asserted that the ancient Babylonians had a trigonometric table of secants.
To compute 1/13 or to divide a number by 13 the Babylonians would use an approximation such as As well as arithmetical calculations, Babylonian mathematicians also developed algebraic methods of solving equations.
Once again, these were based on pre-calculated tables.
The majority of recovered clay tablets date from 1800 to 1600 BC, and cover topics which include fractions, algebra, quadratic and cubic equations and the Pythagorean theorem.
The Babylonian tablet YBC 7289 gives an approximation to The Babylonian system of mathematics was sexagesimal (base-60) numeral system.