The Ishango Bone, the world’s oldest mathematical object found in Africa
Most histories of mathematics devote only a few pages to Ancient Egypt and to northern Africa during the ‘Middle Ages´. Generally they ignore the history of mathematics in Africa south of the Sahara and give the impression that this history either did not exist or, at least, is not knowable, traceable, or, stronger still, that there was no mathematics at all south of the Sahara. In history, to Europeans, even the Africanity of Egyptian mathematics is often denied or suffers eurocentric views of conceptions of both ‘history’ and of ‘mathematics’ form the basis of such views.
The Ishango Bone was discovered in 1960 by Jean Heinzelin Braucourt, a Belgian national who was exploring the eastern fringes of the Democratic republic of Congo, then Belgian Congo. The bone was found among the ruins of a human settlement that was located near Lake Edward, an ancient settlement that had been buried by a volcanic eruption. It is a dark brown length of bone, the fibula of a baboon, with a sharp piece of quartz affixed to one end, perhaps for engraving.
Evidently the Ishango bone was designed as a tool for making incisions, but its bone handle was itself incised. The arrangement of the notches engraved on the handle, and the numbers in each group, are clearly not casual. Analysis of their numerological properties has led several investigators to conclude that the artefact is not a simple tally stick, but a kind of calculator based on special number systems.
The artifact was first estimated to have originated between 9,000 BC and 6,500 BC. However, the dating of the site where it was discovered was re-evaluated, and it is now believed to be more than 20,000 years old.
The Ishango bone is on permanent display in l’Institut Royal Belge des Sciences Naturelles, Brussels, Belgium.
ATTENTION EVERYONE IN INDIANA AND SURROUNDING STATES
An Amber Alert was just issued for the abduction of the baby above, Delano Wilson. He was abducted at noon today(8/27) and is assumed to be with a White manm 25-30 years old, 5’6”-5’9”, meduim build, short brown hair with a Hispanic female, 25-30 years old, thin build, Long brown hair. They are assumed to be in a Blue Ford Tarus, older model 2000-2003 4 door.
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HE IS IN EXTREME DANGER
If you know any information call 1-888-58AMBER
Full information can be found here
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Images from a candlelight vigil for Mike Brown in Boston, MA on August 22, 2014