## Aztec Math

Posted on April 5, 2008 Comments (1)

Aztec Math Decoded, Reveals Woes of Ancient Tax Time

“The ancient texts were extremely detailed and well organized, because landowners often had to pay tribute according to the value of their holdings,” said co-author Maria del Carmen Jorge y Jorge at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City, Mexico. The Aztecs recorded only the total area of each parcel and the length of the four sides of its perimeter, Jorge y Jorge explained. Officials calculated the size of each parcel using a series of five algorithmsâ€”including one also employed by the ancient Sumeriansâ€”she added.

A set of at least five formulas emerged showing how the Aztec surveyors determined the areas of irregular shapes. In some cases, the Aztecs averaged opposite sides and then multiplied. In others, they bisected the fields into triangles.

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December 16th, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

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