Ancient (Non-Greek) Geometry
General
•
Geometry literally means “Earth measurement”.
•
Societies considered here are Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian, and Chinese.
Miscellaneous
•
A lot of apparent interest in unit conversion problems.
•
Double-diFerence method of surveying common in China, and India.
◦
How does it work?
◦
Why wouldn’t they use something simpler?
•
Egyptians had right formula for a frustum of a pyramid, unlike other ancient civilizations.
(It is
not
average base area times height.)
•
Babylonian geometry very algebraic. Early sliding ladder problem!: “A ladder of length 30
stands against a wall; the question is, how far will the lower end move out from the wall if
the upper end slips down a distance of 6 units?”
•
Was geometry purely a tool for these ancient civilizations? What about the strange algebra
problems connected with geometry in Mesopotamia?
Trigonometry

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