The Ancient Creators of Maths

As for the scientists , maths’ roots come from the idea of counting. If we look at the remnants , mankind has been able to measure and record things since upper paleolithic era and probably , Ishango (B.C. 20.000) and Lebombo Bones (B.C. 35.000) are the first remnants which I’ve had never heard. Lebombo bone was found in the area of Border cave in Swaziland’s Lebombo mountain and Ishango bone was found in layers of volcanic ashes on the shores of Lake Edward in the Ishango region in DRC , near the border with Uganda by the Belgian geologist named Jean de Heinzelin de Braucourt. As for the passages , the Ishango bones are two bones of baboon , 10 to 14 cm long with several incisions on each faces. There are 3 colums ; the left , the right and the central column. The left column’s notches’ sum is 60 and divided into 4 groups. The right columns’ sum is 60 too and divided into 4 groups , just like the the left column but their groups’ notches are totally different. For instance ,the left one goes like 19 , 17 , 13 and 11. However , the right one goes like 9,19,21 and 11. The central column divided into 8 groups , utterly different from the right and the left and the incisions goes like (the notches’ sum is not definite) 7,5,5,10,8,4,6 and 3 so, the sum is 48 but it may be 63. The notches on the Ishango bones may have a mathematical meaning as the numbers are in order but they may be random to hold them comfortably. For some scientists , these incisions are for some simple computation. One of them , Alexander Marshack , proposed that it may be the oldest lunar calendar. Another Scientist named Claudia Zaslavsky , stated that it must have been used for to calculate menstrual cycle. To make these more clear , I would like to share the pictures of them:


In our first lecture CMN 167 , we have been given an assignment. At first we were to make a research on these bones  I’ve been mentioning about and then were to answer some questions.However , I’ve read all the articles about these bones and none of them has a definite result so , I was unable to respond those questions. I’ve been in trouble with maths since primary school thus , I’ve been struggling with these questions since the assignment was given but I’ve to make some comments on these sooner or later. The third question asks us “Do you think these bones belonged to men or to women ?”. In my opinion , they might have been used to calculate the days.Hence , it is unisex. The idea of the menstrual cycle makes no sense to me to be honest but to calculate the days there must be an aim like calculating the days to harvest on time , though there was no agriculture at those times. Continuing the brainstorming , I come to an end with the idea of counting the members’ of the tribes as in those times they gathering and making groups to hunt or the numbers of the stone tools they had for hunting animals. The fourth question asks us do we think these bones belonged to old or young people. The answer is clearly young people as in those times mankind’s lives were lack of quality and could live approximately 20 or 30 years. The fifth question asks us why might the above two questions be inappropriate questions to ask. According to me , the idea of having a private possession was not discovered yet during that period so , there can’t be “belongings” and as I said in the previous sentences , there were just young people. The sixth and the last question was really challenging ;” Can you suggest how some object in our modern life that might be misinterpreted if dug up in 20,000 years time?” I was unable to figure out for a long time what exactly the question asks us about and still I’m not sure whether I’ve got it right or wrong but here is the conclusion I’ve come ; if a future scientist who lives in 20,000 times , dugs up and finds a remnant which is open to misinterpret , this can be a love letter. Todays world , we live so fast and easy. This leads us to have things without an appreciation. We are turning into robots , lack of feelings , lack of love which is the most precious instinct we have , turning into materialistic individuals. If it is like that today’s world , I can not imagine the future , 20,000 times. That scientist won’t be able to make a comment as the future us would forget what was love , how did it feel like.

The Lecture was quite catchy. I’ve never heard about those bones before and it feels really satisfying to learn something new , something about our ancestors and their way of thinking. In addition to these , I’m not really fond of technology. Actually to be honest I totally hate it and have no blogs or pages in social media like Twitter,Facebook etc. Thus , it is pretty new for me again to have a blog. I guess this lecture will be a little bit though to me. However , the slides and the speech of our Professor was intriguing and I wished that we could write up an essay on what Prof. Chris Stephonson had mentioned about during the lecture. All in all , maths and technology are obligatory and I have to love them sooner or later and I guess it will happen by the help of this lovely class.


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