Tag Archives: Mesopotamia

Mathematics in Mesopotamia: scribe schools

During the Fête de la science 2012, two SAW team members, Cécile Michel and Christine Proust, run a workshop Mathematics in Mesopotamia: scribe schools, intended for secondary school pupils.

The participants learnt about the Mesopotamian writing system, learnt the basics of calculation using sexagesimal system, and wrote, with a stylus on fresh clay tablets, their names and multiplication tables.

SAW team members at the Fête de la science 2012

Several SAW team members will take part in the Fête de la science 2012, an annual national science week.

10 October, Agathe Keller and Alessandra Petrocchi will present South Indian mathematical riddles.

The same day, Cécile Michel, Robert Middeke-Conlin et Christine Proust will run a workshop Mathematics in Mesopotamia: scribe schools. The workshop participants will learn how to use Mesopotamian calculation methods and how to write on clay tables, just like the Mesopotamian scribes used to do.

 

 

During the Fête de la science 2012, two SAW team members, Cécile Michel and Christine Proust, run a workshop Mathematics in Mesopotamia: scribe schools, intended for secondary school pupils.

The participants learnt about the Mesopotamian writing system, learnt the basics of calculation using sexagesimal system, and wrote, with a stylus on fresh clay tablets, their names and multiplication tables.

Details are on the SPHERE website.

Two PhD students joining the SAW project in September 2012

Warm welcome to two PhD students who join the SAW project in September 2012.

Magali Dessagnes will be working, under supervision of Christine Proust, on history of collection of Mesopotamian sources. Magali has studied history, archeology, and history of science in Paris.

Alessandra Petrocchi will be doing her research project in history of mathematics in ancient and medieval Indic sources related to administrative contexts, under supervision of Agathe Keller. Alessandra has studied in Urbino, Bologna, and Cambridge.

The two new PhD students have something in common: they both did Ancient Greek and Latin at school, and both are accomplished musicians. Welcome to the team, Alessandra and Magali!

SAW ERC Project

The SAW project is dedicated to mathematical sources that have come down to us from the ancient world, specifically, though not exclusively, to the sources produced in Mesopotamia, China, and the Indian sub-continent.

The ambition of SAW is to develop new theoretical approaches to the history of ancient mathematics, in order to highlight a variety of practices in the fields that today too often are presented as homogeneous whole, that is, “Mesopotamian mathematics”, “Chinese mathematics”, and “Indian mathematics”.

To this end, SAW intends to concentrate on the mathematical sources related to two activities: astral sciences and state administrations in charge of financial matters. The goal is to create resources that would promote a new historical representation of mathematics.

Doctoral and postdoctoral projects

Doctoral and postdoctoral research on topics related to the SAW project thematics is an integral part of our work.

In summer 2011, the SAW project advertised two scholarships: a doctoral scholarship in cuneiform mathematics related to administrative contexts (see call for applicationsappel d’offre) and a post-doctoral scholarship in mathematics and astronomy in  ancient China ( call for applicationsappel d’offre). Two young scholars were recruited: Robert Middeke-Conlin, who is interested in the mathematics for administrative purposes in the Old Babylonian period, and Zhu Yiwen, who works on Chinese sources.

In spring 2012, the SAW project advertised two doctoral scholarships: in history of mathematics in ancient and medieval Indic sources related to administrative contexts ( call for applicationsappel d’offre), and in history of archives, libraries, and collections linked to Mesopotamian sources and their use by historians ( call for applicationsappel d’offre).