Pacific Standard reports: Trapezoids are, oddly enough, fundamental to modern science. When European scientists used them to simplify certain astronomical calculations in the 14th century, it was an important first step toward calculus—the mathematics Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz developed to understand the physics of astronomical objects like planets. In other words, trapezoids are important, and we’ve known this for nearly 700 years.
Well, the Babylonians knew all of that 14 centuries earlier, according to new research published in Science, proving once again that ancient societies were way more advanced than we’d like to think. [Continue reading…]