Friday, May 11, 2012

Count Like A Babylonian

The Babylonians used a base 60 number system. Vestiges of this system still remain in the 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 360 degrees in a circle. With a base 60 system, divisions are all nice whole numbers: one-half is 30, one-third is 20, one-quarter is 15 etc. The Babylonians also had an ingenious method of counting on their fingers. By counting off the finger bones of the four fingers of one hand, totaling 12, by counting 12 five times using the four fingers and thumb of the other hand; you get 60.

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