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Cuneiform Tablets

We were approaching the end of a long lecture in the History of Mathematics. The lecture had been on the clay cuneiform tablets used in ancient Babylon for writing and arithmetic, and in particular one tablet that turned out to be a table of secants, probably carried around and used by engineers of that time.

Hearing this, a student in the class asked how big the tablets were.

When the professor replied that they were quite tiny, small enough to fit in one's pocket, a student in the back row piped up, "Yeah, but the very first ones filled entire rooms."