It shows trigonometry did not begin with the Greeks studying the sky but with the Babylonians surveying the ground.
The tablet, known as Si.427, dates from the Old Babylonian period – 1900 to 1600 BCE – and Dr. Mansfield discovered the land surveyor used a type of trigonometry now known as "Pythagorean triples" to make accurate right angles.
In 2017, Dr. Mansfield speculated that another artifact from the same period, Plimpton 322, was a unique kind of trigonometric table.
But he could only guess the purpose of the Plimpton 322, hypothesizing that it had a practical use, possibly used to construct palaces and temples, build canals, or survey fields.
Read the original story here.
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