Mathematics Throughout History

Development Ofweights and Measures

Is measurement tied to mathematics?

Yes, measurement is definitely tied to mathematics. In particular, the first steps toward mathematics used units (and eventually numbers) to describe physical quantities. There had to be a way to add and subtract the quantities, and most of those crude “calculations” were based on fundamental mathematics. For example, in order to trade horses for gold, merchants had to agree on how much a certain amount of gold (usually as weight) was worth, then translate that weight measurement into their barter system. In other words, “x” amount of gold would equal “y” amount of horses.



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