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The origin of numbers


A number is a mathematical object used to count, measure, and label.

37,000 years ago, a Lebombo bone (part of a baboon’s fibula) was found in a cave in the Lebombo Mountains in Africa with 29 distinct notches. This is the oldest mathematical object ever found.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0 are the 10 symbols that represent numbers in the decimal number system. The system was created in India in the 6th century and brought to Europe by Middle Eastern Mathematicians in the 12th century. The decimal number system allowed for the development of algebra and later geometry and calculus, a considerable advancement in mathematics over previous methods such as the abacus and other early counting devices.

It is widely thought that accounting began around the same time as trade, roughly 3000 BC according to accounting records found on clay tablets from Egypt and Mesopotamia. Luca Pacioli, an Italian mathematician born in 1445, was the first person to publish detailed material on the double-entry system of accounting.

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