The purpose of this page is to provide a source of information on all
aspects of Mesopotamian mathematics. We explain the origins of
in Mesopotamia from the earliest tokens, through the development of
mathematics to the grand flowering in the Old Babylonian period, and on
into the later periods of Mesopotamian history. We include some general
surveys to get you oriented in each period, and some more detailed
for those interested in specific aspects of this fascinating episode in
history. Like most other Web pages it is under slow construction as
permits. Some of these resources are of general interest, others are
mainly for use by students in my History of
A brief summary of Old Babylonian mathematics. This is the
for which we have the most evidence. Old Babylonian mathematics showed
development of problem solving, typically characterized as algebraic.
A metric geometry approach
to the Theorem of Pythagoras.
of Mesopotamia is available from the reports of the Oriental Institute
A brief introduction to Mesopotamian mathematics can be found at the
MacTutor's History of Mathematics Archive page on Babylonian
David Joyce's History of Mathematics site has a Babylonian
page which includes a map, a brief bibliography, and a page on the Plimpton
322 "Pythagorean" tablet.
project has a site with details of several tablets, including some
spectacular images and transliterations.
has a web site listing his publications and giving links to his books.
Hope Anthony's Guide to Ancient Near Eastern Astronomy seems to be
gone from the Web now. Let me know if it comes back.
The canonical source for all things Near Eastern is ABZU.
Two organizations devoted to furthering the history of mathematics
are the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics (CSHPM) and the British Society for the
History of Mathematics (BSHM).
Their websites contain lots of useful resources for history of
An interesting site with numerous pages and links to ancient and
classical history is the Ancient
History part of the Mining Company.