Did Stonehenge Builders Use Pythagoras's Theorem First?

• BillTre
In summary: Stonehenge.In summary, Stonehenge's layout includes several right triangles, suggesting a sophisticated understanding of geometry and mathematics by its builders. While it is unclear if they were aware of Pythagoras's theorem, these triangles were deliberately incorporated into the monument's design, showcasing the advanced knowledge and skill of the builders.
BillTre
Gold Member
Here is an article from The Telegraph about triangles in older versions of Stonehenge.
(The layout was revised several times).
There are several right triangles referred to that are taken as understanding Pythagoras's theorem.
The article has drawings.

Not sure I buy that they knew A2 + B2 = C2 rather than just knew things like a 3,4,5 triangle has a nice useful right angle since they haven shown the builders calculations.

Bystander
They give us a "base 60" math a la the Babylonians, and I'll buy into the Pythagorean story, otherwise...

Stonehenge is one of the most iconic and mysterious ancient structures in the world. Located in Wiltshire, England, it consists of a series of large standing stones arranged in a circular pattern. While the purpose and construction of Stonehenge have long puzzled archaeologists and scientists, recent research has shed light on the layout and design of the monument.One interesting aspect of Stonehenge is the presence of right triangles in its layout. Right triangles, which have one angle equal to 90 degrees, are a fundamental geometric shape and are closely linked to Pythagoras's theorem, which states that in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.In older versions of Stonehenge, which were built between 3100 and 2300 BC, right triangles can be seen in the arrangement of the stones. These triangles were not accidental, but rather deliberate and purposeful, indicating that the builders of Stonehenge had a deep understanding of geometry and mathematics.One of the most prominent right triangles in Stonehenge is formed by the alignment of the largest stones, known as the Sarsen Trilithons. These three stones, which stand at the center of the monument, form a right triangle with sides of 15, 33, and 36 feet. This triangle has a ratio of 3:4:5, which is a special type of right triangle known as a Pythagorean triple. This means that the lengths of the sides are in a ratio that satisfies Pythagoras's theorem, making it a perfect right triangle.Another right triangle can be seen in the layout of the outer sarsen circle. This circle, which is made up of 30 standing stones, has a diameter of 97 feet. The distance from the center of the circle to the outer edge forms a right triangle with the radius of the circle as one side and half of the diameter as the other side. This creates a right triangle with sides measuring 49 and 72.5 feet, which is also a Pythagorean triple.It is not clear whether the builders of Stonehenge were aware of Pythagoras's theorem or if they simply used these right triangles as a means of creating a precise and symmetrical layout. However, the presence of these triangles suggests a deep understanding of geometry and mathematics, which was likely used in the

1. Did the builders of Stonehenge have knowledge of Pythagoras's Theorem?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it is impossible to know for certain what knowledge the builders of Stonehenge had. However, some researchers have proposed that the layout and design of Stonehenge may suggest a primitive understanding of Pythagoras's Theorem.

2. How could the builders have used Pythagoras's Theorem in constructing Stonehenge?

If the builders did have knowledge of Pythagoras's Theorem, they could have used it to ensure the precise alignment and symmetry of the structure. This mathematical principle allows for the calculation of the length of the hypotenuse in a right triangle, which could have been useful in determining the placement of the stones.

3. Is there any evidence to support the theory that Pythagoras's Theorem was used in the construction of Stonehenge?

Some researchers have pointed to the positioning and measurements of the stones at Stonehenge as evidence of a possible understanding of Pythagoras's Theorem. Additionally, there are other ancient structures, such as the Pyramids of Giza, that also show signs of using this mathematical principle in their design.

4. Why is it significant if the builders of Stonehenge used Pythagoras's Theorem?

If it can be proven that the builders of Stonehenge had knowledge of Pythagoras's Theorem, it would demonstrate a level of mathematical and geometric sophistication that was not previously attributed to these ancient civilizations. It would also provide further insight into the purpose and methods behind the construction of Stonehenge.

5. How does the use of Pythagoras's Theorem at Stonehenge impact our understanding of history and mathematics?

The possible use of Pythagoras's Theorem at Stonehenge challenges our traditional understanding of the history of mathematics and its origins. It also highlights the advanced knowledge and skills possessed by ancient civilizations, and the potential for mathematical principles to be applied in practical and creative ways. This discovery could also inspire further study and research into the role of mathematics in the development of human society.

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