• Robert Middeke-ConlinEmail author
Part of the Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter book series (WSAWM, volume 4)


This introductory chapter provides a synopsis of the present volume and lays the groundwork for the study of errors, mistakes and rounding numbers. The book structure is described, an overview of the kingdom of Larsa is presented, including issues with chronology and provenance, methodology is outlined and then a brief introduction to discrepancies, errors and mistakes is laid out. Mistakes are understood as unintentional discrepancies that result from a scribe’s own lapse in judgement or understanding. A mistake is avoidable, but the scribe is unaware of its existence. On the other hand, it is hypothesized that some errors were intentional, or at least that the scribe was aware of potential deviations between his assertion and a truth. Error would then be unavoidable, but the scribe is aware of its (potential) existence. This hypothesis is pursued throughout this volume where observational and conceptual errors, as well as rounding numbers as a kind of error, are explored.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Berlin Center for the History of KnowledgeMax Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations