Before systems for representing numbers in writing were (further) developed, counting stones, known as calculi or tokens, were used in arithmetic. As first-order representations they enabled operations such as increasing, decreasing, combining, separating, and distributing. Their relationship to the numerical notations recorded in the oldest ‘texts’ (c. 3300 BC; Uruk) is still discussed . The numerical signs in these texts do not represen…
Cite this page
Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin),
Folkerts, Menso (Munich),
Crubellier, Michel (Villeneuve d'Ascq) and
Riedweg, Christoph (Zürich),
Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry.
Consulted online on 30 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e12214310>