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Early Numeration - Tally Sticks, Counting Boards, and Sumerian Proto-Writing

"Work on the published version of my Sumerian Lexicon (Logogram Publishing: 2006) has revealed that: 1) the early Sumerians used wooden tally sticks for counting; 2) tally marks led to proto-writing; 3) the Sumerian pictograms for goats and sheep probably derive from tally stick notch conventions; 4) the Uruk period civilization used counting boards; 5) the authors of the proto-cuneiform tablets drew with animal claws or bird talons; 6) the historical Sumerians used clay split tallies as credit instruments; and 7) the Sumerians may sometimes have counted by placing knots or stones on a string."

Author(s):  Halloran, John A
Format:  Article
Publisher:  John A. Halloran
Publication City:  Los Angeles
Date:  10-Aug-09