History of mathematics (Babylonian mathematics)
Babylonian mathematics refers to any mathematics of the people of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) from the days of the early Sumerians through theHellenistic period almost to the dawn of Christianity. It is named Babylonian mathematics due to the central role of Babylon as a place of study. Later under the Arab Empire, Mesopotamia, especially Baghdad, once again became an important center of study for Islamic mathematics.
In contrast to the sparsity of sources in Egyptian mathematics, our knowledge of Babylonian mathematics is derived from more than 400 clay tablets unearthed since the 1850s. Written in Cuneiform script, tablets were inscribed whilst the clay was moist, and baked hard in an oven or by the heat of the sun. Some of these appear to be graded homework.
The earliest evidence of written mathematics dates back to the ancient Sumerians, who built the earliest civilization in Mesopotamia. They developed a complex system of metrology from 3000 BC. From around 2500 BC onwards, the Sumerians wrote multiplication tables on clay tablets and dealt with geometrical exercises and division problems. The earliest traces of the Babylonian numerals also date back to this period.