500 BC: Babylonian Astronomy
Using arithmetic to predict the heavens
The Babylonians introduce mathematical calculation as a way to find the behavior of planets and a few other systems in nature.
500 BC: Pythagoras
Using arithmetic to predict the heavens
The Pythagoreans promote the idea that numbers can be used to systematically understand and compute aspects of nature, music, and the world.

The invention of arithmetic provides a way to abstractly compute numbers of objects.

A central event in the emergence of civilization, written language provides a systematic way to record and transmit knowledge.

The Lascaux cave paintings record the first known narrative stories.

Babylonian stone boundary markers begin to include inscriptions that record ownership of land.

The first known calendar system is established, rounding the lunar month to 30 days to create a 360-day year.

Hammurabi writes down 281 laws prescribing civil behavior in the kingdom of Babylon.

The 64 possible hexagrams of the Chinese *I Ching* are
taken to enumerate possible features of life and destiny.

Babylonians make tables of multiplication, reciprocals, squares, cubes, and square and cube roots.

The Akkadian Empire adopts a single unified standard for measuring volume, based on the royal gur-cube.

The Library at Thebes is the first known effort to gather and make many sources of knowledge available in one place.

The Babylonian census begins the practice of systematically counting and recording people and commodities for taxation and other purposes.

The Turin Papyrus is the first known topographic map.

Lydia (in modern Turkey) introduces gold and silver coins to represent monetary value.

The Library of Alexandria collects perhaps half a million scrolls with works covering all areas of knowledge.

The Babylonians introduce mathematical calculation as a way to track the behavior of planets and a few other systems in nature.

Euclid writes his *Elements*, systematically
presenting theorems of geometry and arithmetic.

The Pythagoreans promote the idea that numbers can be used to systematically understand and compute aspects of nature, music, and the world.

Archimedes uses mathematics to create and understand technological devices and possibly builds gear-based, mechanical astronomical calculators.

Eratosthenes creates the system of longitude and latitude and uses it to create a scaled map of the known world.

Panini creates a grammar for Sanskrit, forming the basis for systematic linguistics.

A gear-based device that survives today is created to compute calendrical computation.

Plato founds his "Academy", which operates in Athens for nine centuries.

Julius Caesar institutes the Julian calendar, establishing the lengths of the twelve months.

This art-quality 4'10" x 16" poster timeline of the History of Systematic Data and the Development of Computable Knowledge includes nearly 200 entries spanning millennia of events that have shaped the modern world of data and knowledge. Presented in its original version at the 2010 Wolfram Data Summit, this fascinating and impressive large-scale poster is the perfect piece of intellectual art for your library, office, or other wall, and is a unique gift for any enthusiast of data, technology, and its history.