Words and Pictures: New Light on Plimpton 322

  title={Words and Pictures: New Light on Plimpton 322},
  author={Eleanor Robson},
  journal={The American Mathematical Monthly},
  pages={105 - 120}
  • E. Robson
  • Published 1 February 2002
  • Art
  • The American Mathematical Monthly
1. INTRODUCTION. In this paper I shall discuss Plimpton 322, one of the world's most famous ancient mathematical artefacts [Figure 1]. But I also want to explore the ways in which studying ancient mathematics is, or should be, different from researching modern mathematics. One of the most cited analyses of Plimpton 322, published some 20 years ago, was called " Sherlock Holmes in Babylon " [4]. This enticing title gave out the message that deciphering historical documents was rather like… 
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