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## Overview

Mathematics and writing first appeared around 3000 B.C. in Mesopotamia. Originally used as a means of accounting, the abstract concept of numbers, independent of the things being measured, developed over the course of the next thousand years. In the last century of the third millennium, the powerful Ur III state (c. 2100-2000 B.C.) established a system of weights and measures and created a large class of bureaucrats trained in a standardized curriculum. By this time the sexagesimal (base-60) place-value number system was in use.

From the subsequent period, called Old Babylonian (c.2000-1600 B.C.), a large number of educational texts have survived. These reflect an interest in mathematics far beyond what would have been required in daily life. The problems emphasized procedure, leading to the computation of a number as the solution. Few sources have survived from after the Old Babylonian period until...

This section contains 3,018 words(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page) |