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nat4b
29 December 2023, 15:40

"Five times seven is thirty plus five": Archaeologists have identified the words of a multiplication tablet from the Warring States period

"Five times seven is thirty plus five": Archaeologists have identified the words of a multiplication tablet from the Warring States period
During an archaeological dig in China's Hubei province in May 2023, ancient records on bamboo strips were discovered. Such "sheets" served as writing material even before the widespread distribution of paper.

The location was a burial site belonging to the Zhangguo period, also known as the Warring States period. This historical period lasted from 475 to 221 BC. e. and was characterized by internecine wars between the Chinese separate countries-states. It began after the Chunqiu period and ended with the victory of the Qin state and the unification of the former sovereign countries into the first Chinese empire.
Photo source: Jinzhou Museum
Photo source: Jinzhou Museum
It is noted that it was during this period that many scientists, philosophers, thinkers, and strategists appeared in China, who left many works. Therefore, it is not surprising that archaeologists even now find objects related to their activities.

A total of 3,910 bamboo strips were found. It has already been possible to recognize multiplication formulas and the oldest known example of an algebraic table known as Jiujiushu. Using infrared scanning, scientists discovered the words: "Five times a family is thirty plus five, four times seven is twenty plus eight, three times a family is twenty plus one."
Photo source: Jinzhou Museum
Photo source: Jinzhou Museum
According to scientists' calculations, about 30,000 words can be recovered from another 1,200-1,500 such strips.

In addition to the mathematical component, the researchers found strips containing information about various types of arts: archery, horse riding, calligraphy, music, ritual practices.

These finds are considered valuable from the point of view of new information about ancient Chinese education and culture, in particular about the period of the Warring States. According to the researchers, the newly discovered bamboo strips will deepen the understanding of the history and thinking of ancient China before the establishment of the Qin Empire.

Source: english.news.cn

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