Babylonian math problem – West Asian science
A real Babylonian math problem on a clay tablet
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 of the space between the two triangles? Here’s a hint: see how you can divide the area into three trapezoids?
You’ll need to know how to find the area of a trapezoid.
A better drawing of the math problem
Bibliography and further reading about West Asian science:
Science in Ancient Mesopotamia, by Carol Moss (1999). Easy reading. On the short side.
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Babylonian math problem – West Asian science. Quatr.us Study Guides, September 16, 2017. Web. January 23, 2019.