Clarendon Press, 1999. First Edition. Trade Paperback. Item #283818
334 pages. 9 by 12-1/4 inches. Illustrated in black-and-white. First edition (first printing). Very good in wappers (paperback). Stain (coffee?) on cover and first few pages; creases to rear cover.
Mathematics was integral to Mesopotamian scribal culture: indeed, writing was invented towards the end of the fourth millennium B.C. for the express purpose of recording numericalatical information. The main body of this book is a mathematical and philological discussion of the two hundred
technical constants, or coefficients, found in early second millennium mathematics. Their names and mathematical functions are established, leading to improved interpretations of several large mathematical topics. The origins of many coefficients--and much of the more practical mathematics--are
traced to late third millennium accounting and quantity surveying practices. Finally, the coefficients are used to examine some aspects of mathematics education in early Mesopotamia.