“Among the earliest evidence of the use of numbers is a find in Africa in the Congo (Zaire). These are markings — a notation count — on a bone 8,000 years old. It is known as the Ishango bone since it was found near an ancient fishing site of that name. The discoverer, Dr. de Heinzelin, says it is a numeration system. Dr. Marshack, who has examined the notches on the bone, concludes it was used as a lunar calendar. For whatever purpose the number system was used, it is the first we know of in Africa and among the first in the world.”

 

ishango.jpeg

Source: Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. Blacks In Science: Ancient and Modern. pg. 14. 1983; Image from http://users.ox.ac.uk/~some3056/education_research.html.

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