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West Asian sewage – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2017-09-16T12:48:38-07:00September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

A sewer from ancient Urartu (800s BC, now in eastern Turkey) As early as 800 BC, people in West Asia were digging ditches that led from their houses through the city streets to rivers to carry away their waste and drain off stormwater that flooded the streets when it rained (There were much earlier sewage drains in Harappan [...]

West Asian numbers – Ancient Mesopotamia

By |2019-02-24T12:54:20-07:00September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

Neolithic counting tokens The earliest way of writing down numbers was to carve notches in tally sticks, and this method spread from Africa all over Europe and Asia. But by about 9000 BC, people in West Asia began to use a different method of counting. Instead of tally sticks, people made clay tokens in different shapes. The shapes meant different [...]

Babylonian math problem – West Asian science

By |2019-02-07T18:57:36-07:00September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

A real Babylonian math problem on a clay tablet What math problems did Babylonian kids do? This is a real math problem assigned to Babylonian kids in Iraq about 1900 BC. See if you can do it. Here's the problem: Suppose you have two equilateral triangles, one inside the other. Can you figure out the area [...]

West Asian mathematics – history of math

By |2018-05-10T10:12:08-07:00September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

History of math: Sumerian multiplication table (2700 BC) Cuneiform multiplication table Once people in West Asia figured out how to write down numbers, about 3500 BC, they quickly began to want to use cuneiform to write down other mathematical ideas. (Read more about the invention of numbers) The earliest example of this that we have is from about 2700 BC. It [...]

West Asian science – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2019-04-24T20:40:21-07:00September 15th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

The constellation Orion What did Mesopotamians invent? From the Stone Age through the Islamic empires, great scientific discoveries have streamed out of West Asia. West Asia is one of the places where farming got started, and maybe the sailboat. Farming  Early ships and sailing Numbers and writing The pottery wheel All our West Asia articles The Sumerians developed the [...]

Hanging Gardens of Babylon – West Asian science

By |2018-04-07T17:05:00-07:00September 15th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

Assurbanipal in the garden (see his enemy's head hanging in the tree?) Nobody knows for sure when or where the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built. But they were already famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the Hellenistic period, about 200 BC. The most likely explanation is that the gardens [...]

Ottoman science – astronomy and clocks

By |2018-04-25T23:04:52-07:00September 11th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

Taqi al-Din in his observatory Ottoman scholars built many libraries in Istanbul and in other cities of the Ottoman Empire. They translated many earlier books into Turkish or Arabic, like the works of the Roman astronomer Ptolemy. Ottoman scholars also continued to make their own new investigations. The mathematician Ali Qushji, for instance, came [...]

Science in Central America and South America

By |2019-03-08T20:46:38-07:00September 10th, 2017|Central America, Science, South America|

A rubber ball made by the Olmec people (about 1000 BC) Invention of rubber With different natural resources available to them, the people of South America and Central America invented different things than the people of Europe, Asia, or Africa did. Early African science South America articles Central America articles One early invention was rubber. The Olmec people invented rubber (in fact the [...]