2,300-year-old times table found on Chinese bamboo strips

Published on January 14th, 2014 | by Admin

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Tsinghua multiplication table_bamboo strips2.jpg

Tsinghua multiplication table_bamboo strips2.jpg

Archaeologists in China have pieced together a collection of 2,500 bamboo strips which contain 65 ancient texts, including the world’s oldest example of a multiplication table.

The researchers suspect that officials used the multiplication table to calculate surface area of land, yields of crops and the amounts of taxes owed. “We can even use the matrix to do divisions and square roots,” says Feng. “But we can’t be sure that such complicated tasks were performed at the time.”

[Full story]

Story: Jane Qiu, Nature | Photo: Research and Conservation Centre for Excavated Text/Tsinghua Univ.

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