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Posted by Walter Gido on

Africa is home to the world's earliest known use of Mathematical measuring tools and calculation, confirming the continent as the birthplace of both basic and advanced mathematics. The oldest math game, a counting board game, was found in Ethiopia called Mancala which dates back more than 3,000 years. This math game requires a player to use strategies to capture more stones than his or her opponent. Concerning geometrics, the development of geometrical thinking started early in African history, as early as humans learned to geometricize in the context of their labor activities.” For example, the hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, learned to track animals, to recognize and interpret spoors. They got to know the shape of the spoor and provided information on what animal passed by, how long ago and if it was hungry or not.
Africans were counting and measuring in Swaziland beginning approximately 37,000 years ago. The Lebombo Bone found in the Lebombo mountains of Swaziland, Africa is the oldest evidence of mathematical thinking. It contains evenly spaced notches that appear to be tallies for recordkeeping to represent the lunar calendar. The Ishango Bone, which was found between Uganda and Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo), provides evidence of number sense and operations dating back about 22,000 years in Africa. It has a pattern of tallies that is a sequence of prime numbers. It also demonstrates odd numbers, and contains markings of numbers being added and subtracted, which may have influenced the development of higher math in ancient Kemet.
The earliest work on Algebra is the Kemetic Rhind Papyrus (c. 1700 BC), however, in c.3000 BC Kemetic people called it “aha Calculus” because “Aha,” “Ahe,” or “Ahau” was the name of the second pharaoh of the first dynasty. Meaning mass, quantity or heap (a pile of things), it was used as an abstract term for the unknown in an equation. Originally the word “algebra” (“al” from Kemet- “al-kemit”) meant the reuniting of broken parts and was later defined by the Arabs as “restoration,” including “bone-setting.” The phrase “Yin and Yang” is also about the union of separate parts. Other evidence of math in Kemet includes a papyrus dating back about 4,000 years, which was found in that region and is now in a museum in Moscow. It is the oldest record of algebra and geometry. It contains about 25 math problems, including how to solve for unknown quantities, and how to calculate surface area and volume, including the volume of a frustum.

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