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Math China

World's Oldest Decimal Multiplication Table Discovered 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the sign-of-the-times dept.
ananyo writes "From a few fragments out of a collection of 23-century-old Chinese bamboo strips, historians have pieced together what they say is the world's oldest example of a multiplication table in base 10. Each strip is about 7 to 12 millimeters wide and half a meter long, and has a vertical line of ancient Chinese calligraphy painted on it in black ink. The bamboo pieces constitute 65 ancient texts and are thought to be among the most important artifacts from the Warring States period before the unification of China. But 21 bamboo strips contained only numbers and, on closer inspection, turned out to be a multiplication table. As in a modern multiplication table, the entries at the intersection of each row and column in the matrix provide the results of multiplying the corresponding numbers. The table can also help users to multiply any whole or half integer between 0.5 and 99.5. The researchers suspect that officials used the multiplication table to calculate surface area of land, yields of crops and the amounts of taxes owed."
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World's Oldest Decimal Multiplication Table Discovered

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  • by Laxori666 (748529) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @08:33PM (#45893499) Homepage
    You are implying he should read the article before reaching for his keyboard and spouting off the first thought that comes to his self-evaluatedly brilliant mind? You expect too much sir!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:19PM (#45893795)
    That is EXACTLY what I am saying. That computer you're using? It owes everything to NASA and the Apollo project. No space, no computers. That simple. All those people before 1957? All just single-celled mouth breathers. Space came along, THEN the human species got smart.

    No one was smart before space. Only space provides the proper stimulation and motivation for progress. War? Please. You don't actually believe all those stories from WWII about computers, encryption, jet engines, radar, nuclear bombs? Come ON. No one is that smart. But you put a test pilot in a rubber suit?

    Boom. Spinoffs. Right there.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @04:14AM (#45895741) Homepage

    you will find each and every single one of them love money.

    How I know ? I am a Chinese.

    All British people think that's a bit of a generalisation.

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