Q:

When and where did numbers originate?

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The first practical number system was used by the ancient Sumerian city-states beginning sometime between 3500 B.C. and 2800 B.C. in the Mesopotamian region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which is now part of present-day Iraq. Their system was based on the number 60 rather than the number 10. This numerical system, which was also adopted by the Babylonian civilization that followed in Mesopotamia around 2000 B.C., was used for administrative and business documentation.

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In a royal decision which had a positive impact on business relations, the Babylonians standardized the system of weights and measures used in their transactions. Still based on the number 60, the Babylonians devised a calendar containing lengths of 30 days, each within 12 months and totaling a 360-day year. They also used the value of 360 to divide a circle into equal parts which has remained the standard measurement of the degrees within a circle in modern mathematics.

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Related Questions

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    What was the culture of Mesopotamia?

    A:

    Some of civilization's first cities were founded by the Sumerian people in Mesopotamia, which is located in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In Mesopotamia, women were wives and mothers and took care of household duties. Men were trained from an early age for specialized jobs such as masons, musicians, builders or politicians. Big events such as weddings were celebrated with parties and festivals.

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    What are the two rivers that surround Mesopotamia?

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    What is the present-day name of Mesopotamia?

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    Mesopotamia refers to the area of land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. There is not one present-day country which Mesopotamia comprises. Mesopotamia is the present-day area of parts of Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey and Iran.

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    What is the absolute location of Mesopotamia?

    A:

    Ancient Mesopotamia occupied the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and most of what is now Iraq. It also extended to parts of what are now Iran, Syria and Turkey. It was bordered by the Zagros Mountains to the northeast and the Arabian Plateau in the southeast.

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