What is the oldest table of primes? Some e. Are the four groups of notches on the Ishango bone an intentional list of primes? Probably not. Suppose we pick four positive integers less than 30 at random.
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It is 35, years old. It is conjectured to have been used for tracking menstrual cycles, because it has 29 marks on it. The bone is dated approximately 35, BC and resembles the calendar sticks still in use by Bushmen clans in Nimibia.
It has also been suggested that the scratches might have been to create a better grip on the handle or for some other non-mathematical reason. The bone was found among the remains of a small community that fished and gathered in this area of Africa.
However, the dating of the site where it was discovered was re-evaluated, and it is now believed to be more than 20, years old. The central column begins with three notches, and then doubles to 6 notches.
The process is repeated for the number 4, which doubles to 8 notches, and then reversed for the number 10, which is halved to 5 notches. The bone may therefore have been used as a counting tool for simple mathematical procedures. The numbers on each side column add up to 60, with the numbers in the central column adding up to I'm the owner and creator of this website!
Is the 20,000-Year-Old Ishango Bone the Earliest Evidence of Logical Reasoning?
Perhaps the oldest mathematical artifact in existence, the Ishango Bone above , was unearthed in in the then Belgian colony of the Congo now the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was discovered by the Belgian anthropologist Jean de Heinzelin de Braucourt and named after the region in which it was found. The bone, probably a fibula of a baboon, large cat, or other large mammal, has been dated to the Upper Paleolithic Period of human history, approximately 20,, years ago. It is 10 cm long and bears an articulated, organized series of notches readily identifying it, to many observers, as a tally stick. However, its original purpose remains a subject of debate.
The Ishango bone is a bone tool and possible mathematical object, dated to the Upper Paleolithic era. 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. It is thought by some to be a tally stick , as it has a series of what has been interpreted as tally marks carved in three columns running the length of the tool, though it has also been suggested that the scratches might have been to create a better grip on the handle or for some other non-mathematical reason. The bone was found among the remains of a small community that fished and gathered in this area of Africa. The settlement had been buried in a volcanic eruption. The etchings on the bone are in three columns with marks asymmetrically grouped into sets, leading to "various tantalizing hypotheses" such as that the implement indicates an understanding of decimals or prime numbers.