Tablet May Show Babylonians Invented Trigonometry
It was a sine of the times. The Plimpton 322 tablet, discovered in the early 1900s in what is now Iraq, has long divided mathematicians confused by its columns and rows of numbers. But researchers from the University of New South Wales now say the 3,700-year-old broken clay tablet is a trigonometric table. That would mean the Babylonians were 1,000 years ahead of the Greeks, who are credited with creating trig. Skeptical colleagues say that while it’s a fascinating interpretation, they’ve yet to be convinced that the tablet proves Mesopotamian math mastery.