Pythagorean Theorem Found On Clay Tablet 1,000 Years Older Than Pythagoras

Translating the markings from base 60 – the counting system used by ancient Babylonians – showed that these ancient mathematicians were aware of the Pythagorean theorem (not called that, of course) as well as other advanced mathematical concepts.

“The conclusion is inescapable. The Babylonians knew the relation between the length of the diagonal of a square and its side: d=square root of 2,” mathematician Bruce Ratner writes in a paper on the topic. “This was probably the first number known to be irrational. However, this in turn means that they were familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem – or, at the very least, with its special case for the diagonal of a square (d= a+ a= 2a2) – more than a thousand years before the great sage for whom it was named.” —IFLScience

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