The sexegesimal counting system devised by the ancient Babylonians has left numerous marks on modern systems of geometry and mathematics. The number 60 is extremely convenient for rapid calculations, as it is a highly composite number that is divisible by all integers from 1 to 6, as well as 10, 12, 15, 20, 30 and 60. The Babylonians used a 360-day solar calendar, a 60-second minute and a 60-minute hour, according to The Story of Mathematics.

The Babylonians assigned 360 degrees to circles as an aid to time tracking. Using a 360-day calendar made it easy to associate each day of the year with an otherwise arbitrary partition of the circle, creating a convenient visual representation. Given the highly divisible nature of 60 and its multiples, the practice of dividing circles into 360 equal degrees has persisted ever since.