W10: Math & Realia Workshop on mathematical practices in various sectors of Mesopotamian society

Organizers: Christine Proust (French National Centre for Scientific Research) et
Cécile Michel (French National Centre for Scientific Research)

Funding: SAW Project (Mathematical Sciences in the Ancient World)

This workshop is dedicated to the memory of Aizik Abramovich Vaiman (1922-2013)

The workshop “Math & Realia” aims to present researches developed in connection to the SAW project (Mathematical Sciences in the Ancient World). Case studies that show how mathematical knowledge was produced, transmitted or used in specific sectors of activity, such as administration, trade, or education, will be developed. More precisely, in the line of the RAI 61, the workshop will focus on the relationship between the texts and their physical environment or mental representations. The topics addressed include the following:

  • Fields and lands: different ways to quantify surfaces, mental representations, arrangement of surface units, diagrams.
  • Canals, bricks and walls: different ways of quantifying spatial extensions, quantifying labor and organizing work.
  • Measures and standards: relationships between units of capacity and standard vessels, units of weight and standard stone weights, textual traces and archaeological traces.
  • Trade and exchanges: the mathematical tools to “make equivalent” different kinds of goods, market rates, theoretical rates and bureaucratic rates, regular and non-regular numbers, approximations.
  • The walls of schools: textual data and archaeological data.
  • Cuneiform signs as images: notations of integers, fractions, and measurement units; arithmograms, metrograms and arithmo-metrograms.

Contact: christine.proust@univ-paris-diderot.fr