EIGHT MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS WITH DRAWINGS

MS 3052
MS Short Title EIGHT MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS WITH DRAWINGS
Text EIGHT MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS WITH DRAWINGS OF SUBDIVIDED TRAPEZOIDS AND TRIANGLES; MADE AS PROBLEMS APPLIED ON MUD WALLS PARTITIONED INTO TWO OR MORE SEPARATE LAYERS, REPAIRING A BREACH IN A WALL WITH MUD FROM THE TOP OF THE WALL, MEASURING THE THICKNESS BY DRILLING A HOLE THROUGH IT, AS WALL AS COMPUTING RECTANGLES BY DRAWING A DIAGONAL FORMING TWO "PYTHAGOREAN" TRIPLE 5,4,3 AS WELL AS A RECTANGULAR EXCAVATION PROBLEM
Description MS in Old Babylonian on clay, Uruk, Babylonia, 1763-1739 BC, 1 tablet, 21,0x8,2x2,9 cm, 92 lines in cuneiform script, drawings to each problem.
Commentary Problems about trapezoids or triangles divided into two or more smaller parts by transversals parallel to the base were popular in Old Babylonian mathematics. Such problems led to systems of linear or quadratic equations. One particular type of problems for divided trapezoids led to the equation square a + square b = 2 square c. Old Babylonian mathematicians could find solutions in integers to both this equation and the similar equation square a + square b = square c, at least 1200 years before Pythagoras.
Published Jöran Friberg: Matematiska kilskriftstexter i den norska Schøyensamlingen; in: Nordisk Matematisk Tidskrift, 52:4, 2004, pp. 156-157. Jöran Friberg: A remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts. Springer 2007. Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, vol. 6, Cuneiform Texts I. pp. 254-278.
Colophon 5 Mud walls, 1 cross-over, 1 excavation, 1 equalside (quadrangle). Together 8 hand tablets (assignments). This kind of subscript with a detailed summary of the topics in the text is only known on the present tablet and MS 3049.
Place of origin Babylonia
Dates ca 19 BC

Location