Carlos Gonçalves

Carlos Gonçalves

dates de séjour

01/10/2016 - 30/06/2017




Professeur associé


Université de Sao Paulo

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Mathematical Knowledge in Administrative and Economic Practices: countable and metrified dimensions of life in the region of the Diyala, Ancient Mesopotamia.

This project studies mathematical aspects of administrative and economic practices in Ancient Mesopotamia. As it is known, Ancient Mesopotamia was a vast region that had a history spanning three millennia. Specifically, I will work with administrative, economic and mathematical documents coming from the valley of the Diyala and produced during the Old Babylonian period (c. 2000-1600 BCE). Administrative and economic practices are understood by this project in the largest sense, including accounting, the control of entrance and exit of items in the institutions, the formulation of contracts of selling and purchase, of loan contracts and the allocation of people and functions. The goal of the project is the study of mathematical knowledge in the administrative and economic milieus of the region. In the interface of administration and mathematical techniques, the theme of scribal education will also be a concern of research, as there are still many open questions about how a scribe got his professional training.


Carlos Gonçalves is an associate professor at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and a foreign associate researcher at the SPHERE Laboratoire (Paris 7, CNRS). He has also been a research fellow at Exeter University (2003-2005), a visiting researcher at the University of Vienna (2009) and a laureate of the Research in Paris Program (2012). His research focuses on the history of knowledge in the Ancient Near East, specifically mathematical knowledge and the connection between the scholastic milieu and the practical life.