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Evergreen Journey of Mathematics: From Stone Age to AI

 

Evergreen Journey of Mathematics: Stone Age to AI



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Chapter - 2  (.....Continuation from Post - 3)

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2.3.  Contribution of Indus Valley Civilization (2600-1900 BC):

The Indus Valley Civilization, situated in present-day India and Pakistan, displayed early mathematical achievements. Archaeological discoveries have revealed an advanced understanding of weights and measures, as evidenced by the use of standardized weights made of a specific material called chert. The civilization's urban planning and architectural precision also imply a certain level of mathematical knowledge.

The Indus Valley civilization, which thrived from 2600 to 1900 BC in the region that encompasses present-day India and Pakistan, exhibited impressive advancements in various fields, including mathematics. Although our understanding of the Indus Valley civilization remains somewhat limited due to the challenges in deciphering their script, archaeological findings provide valuable insights into their mathematical developments.

Archaeological discoveries have revealed that the Indus Valley people had a keen understanding of weights and measures. They used standardized weights made of a specific material called chert, ensuring consistency in trade and commerce. Indus Valley artifacts also depict meticulously crafted measurement tools, including ruler-like instruments, indicating their interest in accurate measurements.


Architectural advancement of Indus Valley Civilisation

The Indus Valley civilization had a sophisticated system of urban planning, with well-designed cities featuring well-structured streets, drainage systems, and meticulously constructed buildings. These architectural feats required precise measurements and calculations, showcasing the civilization's mathematical prowess.

Furthermore, the Indus Valley civilization displayed a remarkable understanding of geometric principles. The layout of their cities, with well-aligned streets and buildings, suggests a knowledge of angles, symmetry, and geometric proportions. The precise planning and construction of their buildings and public structures imply the use of geometric principles in their architectural designs.

The Indus Valley people were also skilled at manufacturing pottery. The pottery they created exhibited intricate geometric patterns and designs, suggesting an understanding of symmetry and geometric transformations.

While written records from the Indus Valley civilization are yet to be deciphered, their numerical system is believed to have been based on a decimal system. Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts with markings that indicate the presence of a numerical system. These markings resemble tally marks and suggest the civilization's ability to count and record numbers.

The Indus Valley civilization's advancements in mathematics were likely driven by their practical needs, such as agricultural planning, construction, and trade. Their mathematical knowledge would have facilitated the fair distribution of resources, measurement of land for agriculture, and the assessment of goods for trade.

Physical Balance used in Harappa

Despite the challenges in deciphering their written language, the Indus Valley civilization's mathematical achievements remain evident in their urban planning, standardized weights, intricate pottery designs, and likely numerical system. Their contributions to mathematics are a testament to their advanced civilization and their ability to apply mathematical principles to address practical needs.

Although much remains to be discovered about the mathematical practices of the Indus Valley civilization, their legacy serves as a reminder of the remarkable advancements made by early civilizations and the significant role mathematics played in shaping human societies.

While written records from the Indus Valley civilization are yet to be deciphered, their numerical system is believed to have been based on a decimal system. Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts with markings that indicate the presence of a numerical system. These markings resemble tally marks and suggest the civilization's ability to count and record numbers.

The Indus Valley civilization's advancements in mathematics were likely driven by their practical needs, such as agricultural planning, construction, and trade. Their mathematical knowledge would have facilitated the fair distribution of resources, measurement of land for agriculture, and the assessment of goods for trade.


Symbol of infinity, used by mathematicians of  Indusus Valley Civilisation

Despite the challenges in deciphering their written language, the Indus Valley civilization's mathematical achievements remain evident in their urban planning, standardized weights, intricate pottery designs, and likely numerical system. Their contributions to mathematics are a testament to their advanced civilization and their ability to apply mathematical principles to address practical needs.

Although much remains to be discovered about the mathematical practices of the Indus Valley civilization, their contribution serves as a reminder of the remarkable advancements made by early civilizations and the significant role mathematics played in shaping human societies.

 

2.4.  Advancement in China (2000 - 200 BC)

China, with its rich cultural heritage, made significant contributions to the development of mathematics between 2000 and 200 BC. During this period, Chinese mathematicians explored various mathematical concepts, laying the groundwork for future advancements in the field.

One of the notable achievements of Chinese mathematics during this time was the development of a positional numerical system. The Chinese used counting rods to represent numbers, with each rod representing a particular place value. This system allowed for efficient calculations and paved the way for later advancements in arithmetic.


Ancient Chineese Abacus

It also made remarkable progress in algebra. They developed methods for solving linear and quadratic equations, often using geometric interpretations and visual representations to understand the solutions.The Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi, during the 5th century AD, made significant strides in determining the value of pi. He approximated pi to an impressive accuracy of seven decimal places, utilizing sophisticated geometric techniques and algorithms.

Another significant contribution to calendar systems, seeking to accurately measure and predict celestial events.They developed complex calendars that incorporated lunar and solar cycles, allowing for precise timekeeping and planning of agricultural activities.

The development of measurement systems was a great contribution. They created standardized units for length, weight, and capacity. The most well-known unit of length was the "chi," which was approximately equal to the length of a human forearm. This unit formed the basis for measuring distances and constructing buildings. The Chinese also devised a system of units for currency and conducted meticulous calculations related to trade and commerce.

Furthermore, Chinese mathematicians focused on the study of patterns and sequences. They recognized recurring patterns in nature and developed systems for representing these patterns mathematically. This led to the development of mathematical series and progressions, which had applications in fields such as music, architecture, and astrology.



The Chinese also made significant contributions to the study of geometric shapes and their properties. They developed methods for calculating the areas of various polygons, as well as formulas for finding the volumes of three-dimensional objects. These geometric principles influenced architectural designs, city planning, and the construction of ancient Chinese landmarks such as the Great Wall.



Chinese mathematical achievements were documented in various texts and treatises. One of the most influential works was "The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art," dating back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC to 220 AD). This comprehensive mathematical treatise covered a wide range of topics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and surveying. It served as a foundational text for Chinese mathematicians for centuries and played a crucial role in disseminating mathematical knowledge.

The mathematical developments during this period in China demonstrated the Chinese people's emphasis on practical applications and the strong connection between mathematics and the physical world. Chinese mathematicians sought to solve real-world problems, leading to advancements in areas such as algebra, measurement, geometry, and the calculation of pi. Their mathematical achievements would leave a lasting impact on future generations, influencing the development of mathematics worldwide.

....TO BE CONTINUED


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