- Historic Period: 3,500 BCE – Ancient Sumeria
While mathematics was used in some form before it was officially “invented,” nothing was ever organized. Eventually, math became a big part of many lives in ancient civilizations. Math was used to measure and quantify natural phenomena. Initially, it was developed as a way to properly calculate the size and distance of celestial bodies for astronomy. This mostly started with ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Chinese civilizations. However, the earliest known recorded use of mathematics dates back to ancient Sumeria, around roughly 3,500 BCE. One of the oldest known mathematical equations is the Plimpton 322 tablet, which dates back to the Babylonian civilization around 1800 BCE. This tablet contains a table of numbers that represents the solutions to equations of the form a^2 + b^2 = c^2, which are known as Pythagorean triples.