## Math 323: Fall 2005

## Day 2: Third-Millennium Mathematics

### Summary

The story of the third millennium is the gradual
abstraction of number from
the underlying objects and the simplification of the complex archaic
metrological systems. This is a long process. Mathematics
occurs
in administrative contexts and in training for scribes. Problems
are
set that relate to the types of issues scribes have to face, but there
is
also a scholasticizing tendency that shows up in unrealistic choices of
variables.

### Reading

The Third
Millennium Mathematics section of my website.

### Additional reading

H.J. Nissen, P. Damerow, R.K. Englund, *Archaic
Bookkeeping*, Chapter 16.

### Handouts

Third millennium examples

### Links

Fara
tablets

VAT
12455: ration
text

VAT
12537:
ration text

VAT
12593+12783: mathematical table

### Homework

Analysis of third millennium texts, plus lots of reading

On to Day 3

Up to Ancient
and Classical Mathematics

Last modified: 29 August 2005
Duncan
J. Melville

Comments to dmelville@stlawu.edu