Degrees as a unit of measurement have been around for thousands of **years**. About six thousand years in fact.

It was the Mesopotamians who used a system based on the number 60 and first divided the circle in 360 degrees.

The same system was then taken up by the Egyptians, so all of the measurements for the pyramids will have been calculated using degrees.

### Why Use Degrees?

So why the did Mesopotamians use 360? The reason is that its a very easy number to divide up.

In fact, 360 is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 72, 90, 120, 180 and 360.

It has 24 factors in total; that is, 24 numbers that will divide into and result in a whole number. In comparison, the number 100 has only 9 factors.

If you're looking for a system for measuring angles, which will always be fractions of a circle, then making the total for a circle 360 degrees means it can be split up easily in many ways.