GEOMETRY PROBLEM (AREA): SCHOOL TEXT

MS 2192
MS Short Title GEOMETRY PROBLEM (AREA): SCHOOL TEXT
Text GIVEN 2 CONCENTRIC AND PARALLEL EQUILATERAL TRIANGLES WITH THE AREA BETWEEN THEM DIVIDED INTO 3 EQUALLY SHAPED TRAPEZOIDS; COMPUTE THE AREA BETWEEN THE 2 TRIANGLES AS THE SUM OF THE AREAS OF THE 3 TRAPEZOIDS; SCHOOL TEXT
Description MS in Old Babylonian on clay, probably Larsa (before Babylonia), 19th c. BC, 1 tablet, diam. 7,1x2,5 cm, 8+3 lines in cuneiform script, drawing of 2 concentric and parallel equilateral triangles with the sides given as 60 and 10.
Commentary

The sides of the trapezoids are correctly computed. The text may have been an assignment to a student, but the answer to the problem is not given. No parallel to this text has been published before.

This text shows the difference between Babylonian and Greek geometry; while the classical Greek was abstract and reasoning, the Babylonian was concrete and numerical.

Published Jöran Friberg: Matematiska kilskriftstexter i den norska Schøyensamlingen; in: Nordisk Matematisk Tidskrift, 52:4, 2004, p. 150-151. 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. 202-05.
Place of origin Babylonia,
Dates ca 19c BC

Location