Babylonian numerals

numeral system used in ancient Babylonia

Babylonian cuneiform numerals were written in cuneiform, using a wedge-tipped reed stylus to make a mark on a soft clay tablet which would be exposed in the sun to harden to create a permanent record.

Babylonian cuneiform numerals

The Babylonians, who were famous for their astronomical observations, as well as their calculations (aided by their invention of the abacus), used a sexagesimal (base-60) positional numeral system inherited from either the Sumerian or the Eblaite civilizations.[1] Neither of the predecessors was a positional system (having a convention for which 'end' of the numeral represented the units).


  1. Stephen Chrisomalis (2010). Numerical Notation: A Comparative History. p. 247. ISBN 9780521878180.