### Plimpton 322: a universal cuneiform table for Old Babylonian mathematicians, builders, surveyors and teachers builders and surveyors

#### Abstract

This article deals with the damaged and incomplete Old Babylonian tablet Plimpton 322 which contains 4 columns and 15 rows of a cuneiform mathematical text. It has been shown that the presumed original table with its 7 columns and 39 rows represented: a table of square roots of numbers from 0 to 2 for mathematicians; an earliest rudiments of a trigonometric table for builders and surveyors where angles are not measured as an arc in a unit circle but as a side of a unit right-angled triangle; a list of the 39 exercises on reciprocal pairs, unit and integer-side right triangles (rectangles), factorization and square numbers for teachers.

The article provides new arguments in favor of old disputes (squares of diagonals or widths; mistakes in previous analysis of errors in P322). Contradictory ideas about P322 are discussed: Is it the table of triangle sides or factorization terms? Was it compiled by a parallel or independent factorization of the sides or of their squares? Are sides of an initial unit triangle enlarged or reduced by such factorization? Does it contain two or four arithmetical errors?

Time and dimensional requirements for calculation and writing of the complete tablet have been also estimated.

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PDFDOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/tatra.v67i0.390