history-page3 - ◦ No terminal placeholder • Wedge = 1 =...

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Mesopotamia Babylonian? Land between the rivers: Tigris and Euphrates Present-day Iraq Oldest extant writings: ca. 3000 BC (cuneiform=wedge) Oldest purely mathematical texts date to Old Babylonian or Hammurabic period (ca. 1900 BC) Claims that system developed by 2350 BC Sexagesimal (base 60) Remnants in our measurement of time and angle (DMS) Why? Avoid messy fractions. 6 times 60 is close to 365??? Number ideograms (abstract symbols) Not just tallies Place-value notation Originally no place-holder. Relied on context. Or left a gap. Seleucid period (300 BC): medial placeholder: omicron = o
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Unformatted text preview: ◦ No terminal placeholder • Wedge = 1 = d • Boomerang = crescent = 10 = ≺ Egyptian • Nile river • Old Kingdom started in about 2700 BC • Oldest mathematical scrolls and tablets date to about 2000 BC • Three number systems ◦ Decimal ◦ Hieroglyphic system ⋆ Symbols for 10 n ,n = ... 6 ⋆ Stroke, loaf, coil, lotus Fower, bent thumb, ±sh, man with raised hands ⋆ Additive ⋆ Typically right to left ◦ Hieratic and Demotic systems ⋆ Ciphered = symbols for b n k , base = b , k < b · Intrinsically additive · Advantage: compact · Disadvantage: Lots of symbols...
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This note was uploaded on 12/29/2011 for the course MATH 378 taught by Professor Wen during the Fall '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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