The History of Mathematics

Mesopotamian Numbers and Mathematics

Did any cultures use more than one base number in their numbering system?

Certain cultures may have used a particular base as their dominant numbering system, such as the Sumerians’ base 60, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t also use other base numbers. For example, the Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians used base 12, mostly in their measurements. In addition, the Mesopotamian day was broken into 12 equal parts; they also divided the circle, ecliptic, and zodiac into 12 sections of 30 degrees each.



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