A Brief Introduction to Ancient Counting Systems for the Non-Mathematician

QuipuThe below link is to a pdf version of the illustrated 54 page booklet I wrote, A Brief Introduction to Ancient Counting Systems for Non-Mathematicians.  It is an introduction and beginner’s guide to ancient counting systems, including Inuit (Eskimo), Greek, Hebrew, Babylonian, Chinese, Mayan, Egyptian, Armenian, Asian rods, the quipu and abacus.  This primer is intended for the non mathematician, so the reader can learn to read and understand numerals in several languages.  While some ancient systems are difficult at first to comprehend, many are simple to learn.  For example, the ancient Asian rod system, that calculates using physical rods or sticks, is remarkably similar to our system.   The quipu, a string necklace-like device used by the Mayans and pictured to the right, is also easy to learn.  On the other hand, the Inuit and Babylonian systems, while numerically sound, are significantly different than what our brains are used to.  I’ve long said that two of areas of study that will change how one views the universe, areas that bend the mind and reveal your narrowness of one’s thoughts and assumptions, are visual illusions and foreign numeral systems.  The ancient mathematicians could take a different and foreign path to end up at the same, correct answer as you, revealing that your method of thinking isn’t the only method.

View/download pdf guide

.

.

 

Advertisements