The History of Mathematics

What Is Mathematics?

Who were the first humans to use simple forms of mathematics?

No one really knows who first used simple forms of mathematics. It is thought that the earliest peoples used something resembling mathematics by knowing the concepts of one, two, or many. Perhaps they even counted using items in nature, such as 1 represented by the Sun or Moon; 2, their eyes or wings of a bird; clover for 3; or legs of a fox for 4.

Archeologists have also found evidence of a crude form of mathematics in the tallying systems in certain ancient populations. These include notches in wooden sticks or bones, and piles or lines of shells, sticks, or pebbles. This is an indication that certain prehistoric peoples had at least a simple, visual ways of adding and subtracting things, but they did not yet have a numbering system such as we have today.


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