A New Geometric School Text from Cornell: Notes

*  I would like to thank Professor David I. Owen, Curator of Tablet Collections, for bringing this tablet to my attention, encouraging its publication, and for arranging for the excellent photo by Laura Johnson-Kelly. This study was done while I held a research position at the Excellence Cluster 264 TOPOI “The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilisations.”

 

1  Purists and those afraid of “anachronisms” won’t like that but it is practical and does no harm.

 

2  Note that the equality Eqn06 was known and made explicit use of by the Babylonian mathematicians. See Friberg (1987-1990: 578); Robson (1999: 80-81).

 

3  This follows by

 

Eqn07

 

     Because of cn = 10 + 3n(n + 1) the Ãn satisfy

 

Eqn08

 

4  The wording would have started with something like “08 20: a circle I have bent” (gur2 akpup). See e.g. New MCT §9.1 LB 1821 (Friberg & al-Rawi 2016); CT 9, plts. 8-13 BM 85194 § 4 (Neugebauer 1935: 144, 153, 167-172): ak-pu-up. BagM 21, 554-557 + plts. 46-47 W 23291,x §§2-3 (Friberg, Hunger & al-Rawi 1990: 494-496, 499-502): gur2up.