Aims and scope of the course.

Go over the syllabus.

Discuss sources and readings - reserve materials, reference materials, online databases.

Location in space and time.

See the Historical Atlas material resources map.

Map of Mesopotamia from Oriental Institute and CDLI.

Historical Atlas political change map.

See my political summary, chronology, and Mesopotamian mathematical summary.

Simple
tokens from Uruk

Complex tokens from Uruk

Bulla from Uruk

CAT scan of a bulla (all from CDLI)

The key point to note here is that there were different sets of 'numerical' symbols, depending on what was being measured.

Complex tokens from Uruk

Bulla from Uruk

CAT scan of a bulla (all from CDLI)

The key point to note here is that there were different sets of 'numerical' symbols, depending on what was being measured.

Some nice examples of archaic tablets from CDLI:

Read my Sumerian metrology page

Syllabus

Maps of Mesopotamia

Sumerian metrological systems

Archaic account

Go over the historical links above and read the material there carefully.On to Day 2.

Think about the ways Mesopotamia was different to modern society and how that would affect the role and practice of mathematics. Who needed mathematics then? Why did they need it? What sort of mathematics did they need? What problems could mathematics solve?

Do the analysis of the archaic account.

Readings to prepare for Day 2 are on the Day 2 page.

Up to Ancient and Classical Mathematics

Last modified: 27 August 2005 Duncan J. Melville

Comments to dmelville@stlawu.edu