The scribes’ interest in Sumerian scholarly writings is also demonstrated by the presence in the Central Archives [of the palace of Ebla] of three “mathematical” texts. Catalogue number 322c is a list of composite signs for expressing large quantities in the sexagesimal system (used by the Sumerians). The first case expresses the number 36,000 as (60 x 10); next come a sign for 216,000 and two different signs for for 2,160,000. Finally, 12,960,000 is expressed by using the sign that expresses (10 x 602) x 60. The colophon of the tablet has been interpreted as “(According to what) has been established by the scribes of Kish- Ishma’-Il.”

The tablet is currently at the Idlib Museum in Syria.

Aruz, Joan, Art of the First Cities- The Third Millennium BC from the Mediterranean to the Indus. New York- Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003.

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