Mathematics and Mayans

Topics: Mathematics, Maya civilization, Alexander the Great Pages: 3 (1027 words) Published: February 19, 2013
Mathematics of the Greeks and the Mayans
Mathematics is the study of time, space, structure, and quantity which is used to calculate almost anything in the world from the amount of atoms in an element to calculating the air pressure in a room. Although levels of math such as calculus are not taught until college, the use and study of mathematics have been around since the beginning of time and the world wouldn’t be able to function without it. The term “mathematics” comes from the Greek word mathema which means study, knowledge, or learning. Along with philosophy and astronomy, the ancient Greeks were well known for their development and contribution as brilliant mathematicians. Despite their widely spread fame as the world’s first greatest mathematicians, the Greeks had competitors. My contention is that the Mayans were one of the top mathematicians of the ancient world and were even more advanced than the Greeks.

Ancient Greek mathematics has been developed since the early seventh century B.C. which could also be called the period during the Hellenistic Mathematics. Some of the greatest Ancient Greek mathematicians were Pythagoras, Aristotle, Anaxagoras, Euclid, Archimedes, Thales, and Aristarchus. These Greek mathematicians were big on the development of geometry which is a subdivision of math that focuses on shapes, size, and the relativity of space. Although their number system was based on letters of the alphabet and used units of five and ten, they therefore were not big on the processes of Algebra. However the Greeks became the masters of calculating solutions concerning volume, lengths and areas using geometric methods and theorems to solve algebraic equations. Despite contributions to modern day arithmetic such as the Pythagorean Theorem and Euclidian Geometry the Greeks were missing one essential part of math, one number that modern day civilization mathematics would not be able to function without. The Mayans included this number in their...
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