Monday 21 August 2023

Mathematics In Ancient Africa

Africa is home to the world's earliest known use of Mathematical measuring tools and calculation, confirming the continent as the birthplace of both basic and advanced mathematics.

The knowledge spread throughout the entire world after series of migration out of Africa beginning around 30,000BC and later by a series of invasion of Africa by European and Asians (1700BC). 

The oldest mathematical instrument is the Lebombo bone (35,000 BC) a baboon fibula used as a measuring device and was named from its location of discovery in Lebombo mountain in Swaziland or Eswatini.

Ishango bone (20,000 BC) is one of the world's oldest mathematical instrument also made from baboon fibula bone discovered in present day Congo. The bones has markings that represents different quantities.

It is now house in the museum of natural science in Brussels.

Next is an ancient board game known has Gabet'a or Mancala game dated to come from Yeha in Ethiopia around (700 BC).

It is still in use in East, Central and western Africa. The game consist of two or four rows with six or eight holes which is played by two players with stones, cowries or sea Shell ๐Ÿš.

In Moscow's Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, is the so called Moscow papyrus was purchased by Valdimir Golenishchev sometimes in 1890s. Written in hieratic from perhaps the 13th Dynasty in Kemet, the papyrus is one of the world's oldest use of algebra and geometry.

The Rhind mathematical papyrus (1650BC) was purchased by Alexander Rhind in 1856 AD, and presently house in British museum, most Egyptologist link this texts to the Hyksos, excavated at Ramesseum in Waset (Northern Egypt. It contain arithmetic and algebraic problems/solution.

Timbuktu in Mali is home to one of the world's oldest University, Sankore which had libraries filled with manuscript written in Ajama (African languages such as Hausa written in scripts in form of Arabic) in the 1200AD.

When Europeans and Asians begin visiting and Colonizing Mali in the 1300s to 1800s the Malians begin hiding the Manuscript in basement, attics and underground in fear of destruction or theft by foreigners.

In recent history many as 700,000 scripts had been rediscovered and is in modern and advanced mathematics.

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