The Greek mathematician Pythagoras was famous around the world for his formula for measuring right triangles. But archaeologists reveal this formula existed 1,000 years earlier.

For all who study mathematics, they must learn the Pythagorean formula for measuring the hypotenuse of a right triangle, i.e. c2 = a2 + b2. Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician who lived from 582 BC - 496 BC.

Recently, however, archaeologists have managed to read a 3,700-year-old stone tablet artifact from the Babylonian era. This tablet with cuneiform letters was apparently written in the same formula as Pythagoras.

Live Science reported as seen on Wednesday (11/8/2021), this tablet is coded Si.427. These stone tablets were historically discovered by a team of French archaeologists in 1894 in Iraq and are now housed in the Turkish Archaeological Museum.

Then there’s new research from the University of New South Wales Australia by a team led by Daniel Mansfield. They say Pythagoras' formulas and trigonometry were written in stone tablets from Babylonian times.

“The Babylonians developed‘ proto trigonometry ’to solve the problem of measuring land,” Mansfield said.

Stone tablets are considered tools used to measure land in Babylonian times. This tablet contains numbers in the form of Pythagoras triangles, namely 3-4-5, 8-15-17 and 5-12-13.

In 2017, Mansfield also discovered a stone artifact called Plimpton 322. It also contains trigonometric numbers. With the discovery of these two artifacts, Mansfield believed that the ancient Babylonians had used the theory of Trigonometry to measure land.

"At that time, people started recognizing land ownership. So there was a need to measure the land to be divided and determine the boundaries," Mansfield said.

This means that there is a gap of more than 1,000 years from the stone tablets to the birth of Pythagoras in 570 BC. Of course scientists will not change the name of the formula, sticking to the name of the Pythagorean Formula. But this is a sign that the Greeks learned mathematics from previous nations, namely Egypt and Babylon.

"No one thought the Babylonians used Pythagoras' formula. This was pure mathematics born of the need to solve problems at the time," Mansfield said.

You see, the Pythagorean formula was discovered by other nations
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