# Ancient Babylonians Used Astronomical Geometry To Track Jupiter

Posted: Jan 29 2016, 4:19am CST | by , Updated: Jan 29 2016, 8:07pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

Mathieu Ossendrijver/ British Museum
• Old Babylonian Tablets show that Geometry was employed for Astronomical Purposes

## Old Babylonian tablets that have been unearthed show that geometry was employed way back then for astronomical purposes.

An analysis of ancient Babylonian tablets revealed a lot that was unknown up until now. Geometry was being used in those olden days to calculate the position of Jupiter in the night sky.

It had been supposed that geometry was invented 1400 years after the Babylonians, but apparently such is not the case. 14th century Europe is not when geometry was invented. The tablets are the earliest example of the use of geometry to solve time-space problems.

The age-old civilization of Babylon may have been the exact place from which knowledge of geometry was transferred to the West. Four of the ancient tablets were made in Babylon between 350 and 50 BCE.

Two breaks are recorded in them in the path of Jupiter. The planet’s axis at 60 days and 120 days has been calculated. A trapezoid’s area is also illustrated on the tablets. Its long and short edges are shown clearly too.

It had been thought that Babylonian astronomers had used arithmetic to make most of their calculations. But now it seems otherwise. Apparently they had used geometrical methods as well.

They even calculated the time in which Jupiter covered half of its 60 day journey. This was found via bisecting the trapezoid into two smaller trapezoids of equal area.

The ancient Greeks had employed geometry to configure space. But the ancient Babylonians had used geometry to decide matters having to do with velocity and time.

The discovery of the tablets have virtually rewritten our history books. In fact, the European scholars in the 14th century were eons behind the ancient Babylonians in matters of geometric calculations.

The methods used by the ancient Babylonians were indeed way ahead of their time. The trapezoid procedures were fairly advanced. They were tabulated on the tablets in the form of rows and columns.

The additions, subtractions ad multiplications were complex operations that got carried out way back then. Jupiter’s position was calculated with such precision and razor-sharp accuracy that anyone from today looking back on this happening would not be able to believe his eyes.

It is a miracle of science, that’s for sure. The concepts used and the state of mathematics that got employed were so far ahead of those primitive times that the very thought is mind-boggling to say the least.

The findings of this study were published Thursday in the journal Science.

This story may contain affiliate links.

### Find rare products online! Get the free Tracker App now.

Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Pomsies, Oculus Go, SNES Classic and more.

### New Insight into How Earth Feeds Volcanic Super-eruptions

4 hours ago, 4:12pm CDT

### Scientists Confirm Earth’s Inner Core is Solid

7 hours ago, 1:38pm CDT

### NASA Chooses Names for 21 New Constellations

10 hours ago, 10:00am CDT

### 150-Million-Year-Old Piranha is the Oldest Known Flesh-eating Fish

14 hours ago, 6:03am CDT

### Antarctic Ice Shelf is Making Strange Noises

18 hours ago, 2:14am CDT

### Red Dead Redemption 2 early Black Friday Deal: Get \$100 Off an Xbox One of Xbox One X with Game Purchase

10 hours ago, 10:38am CDT

### Black Friday 2018 Nintendo Switch Deals Predicted

15 hours ago, 5:28am CDT

### Top Amazon Laptop Deal: Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

17 hours ago, 3:28am CDT

### Cyber Monday 2018: Date, Deals, and Sales

18 hours ago, 2:17am CDT

### Rainbowcorns are in stock at Amazon - Hot Holiday Toy 2018 Alert

20 hours ago, 11:49pm CDT

### Curiosity Rover Resumes Science Operations

1 day ago, 3:44pm CDT

### Researchers Find Evidence of Rapid Adaptation of Burmese Pythons in Florida

1 day ago, 12:11pm CDT

### Don’t Step In It Game Unicorn Edition Stock is Exclusive to Amazon

1 day ago, 7:54am CDT

### Giant Floating Pipe is going to Clean up Plastic in the Ocean

1 day ago, 7:38am CDT

### Choetech Wireless Charging Stand for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Review

1 day ago, 5:34am CDT

### The Author

Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.