History’s First Math Dork Identified In Ancient Tomb

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A statement published in mid-December detailed how the world’s oldest known multiplication tables were recently uncovered in a tomb in central China.

The tables are believed to be around 2,300-years-old, and were recorded on ancient scraps of bamboo, according to statement’s shared by China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration. The slips were found in a tomb at Qinjiazui Cemetery, in the Jian Ecological and Cultural Zone in Hubei Province, which was once the ancient capital of Chu.

The cemetery hails from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, and was excavated by researchers from the Jingzhou Museum, who found the tomb in question. The researchers named the tomb M1093, and believe it comes from the Warring States Period (369 B.C.  to 329 B.C.). The tomb is more like a rectangular-shaped pit with a “head niche.”

Along with the multiplication slips, 19 other pieces of funerary objects were placed in the “head niche” space, the east and the northern sides of the coffin. (RELATED: Netflix Documentary Could Rewrite All Of Human History)

“It is worth noting that after the first stage of indoor protection treatment at the Jingzhou Cultural Relics Protection Center, a total of 3,910 bamboo slips were uncovered. It is expected that 1,200 to 1,500 bamboo slips can be combined into a total of about 30,000 words,” Jingzhou Museum’s Yang Kaiyong said in the statement.

Along with multiplication tables, the slips also noted activities such as archery, horsemanship, music, rituals, and calligraphy. But the multiplication tables are the oldest known example of algebra tables called Jiujiushu, suggesting we’ve uncovered the oldest known math dork in history … and he or she was evidently into some pretty cool stuff!