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Social Studies High School

Babylonian Astronomy

The people of Ancient Mesopotamia practiced mathematics from the early days of Sumer to the fall of Babylon in the 6th century. Until recently, most evidence suggested that math was used primarily for things like measuring land. A new discovery by a researcher in Berlin has shed new light on how Babylonians used geometry to measure the changes in the velocity of Jupiter over time as it moves across the sky. Prior to this discovery, the use of geometry in this manner was thought to have come in the middle ages. Listen to hear how this new discovery shows that Babylonian mathematics was more sophisticated than previously thought.

Middle East Earth and Space Science

Story Length: 3:36

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National Public Radio © 2003 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 01/28/2016

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