Gypsum cast of mathematical tablet from Tell Harmal

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Gypsum cast of mathematical tablet from Tell Dhubai (I.M. no.67118) 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches. Top 3/4 view. Grey graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Gypsum cast of mathematical tablet from Tell Harmal (I.M. no.55357)

This is a gypsum cast of a clay tablet containing a mathematical text found at the archaeological site of Tell Harmal in 1950. The original tablet dates from about 1900 BC, the early Babylonian period. It is an early example of a ‘problem text’ in cuneiform script, which consists of a series of questions and answers not including the solutions. Many of these tablets have been found and it appears they were used for teaching purposes. It is clear from the text that the Babylonians had an understanding of similar triangles, and an ordered system of mathematical education.


Object Number:
calculating device
Iraq Museum

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