Since the early days of cuneiform studies it was known - and hardly considered amazing, given among other things the importance of measure and number in the Old Testament - that the Babylonians were in possession of numbers and metrology; since the later nineteenth century the existence of a place value system with base 60 (the “sexagesimal” system) and its use in Late Babylonian mathematical astronomy were also well-known facts. During the following few decades, finally, a number of Babylonian and Sumerian mensuration texts were deciphered.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section for Philosophy and Science StudiesUniversity of RoskildeRoskildeDenmark

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