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About 30000BC

Palaeolithic peoples in central Europe and France record numbers on bones.

About 25000BC

Early geometric designs used.

About 5000BC

A decimal number system is in use in Egypt.

About 4000BC

Babylonian and Egyptian calendars in use.

About 3400BC

The first symbols for numbers, simple straight lines, are used in Egypt.

About 3000BC

The abacus is developed in the Middle East and in areas around the Mediterranean.

About 3000BC

Hieroglyphic numerals in use in Egypt. (See this History Topic.)

About 3000BC

Babylonians begin to use a sexagesimal number system for recording financial transactions. It is a place-value system without a zero place value. (See this History Topic.)

About 2770BC

Egyptian calendar used.

About 2000BC

Harappans adopt a uniform decimal system of weights and measures.

About 1950BC

Babylonians solve quadratic equations.

About 1900BC

The Moscow papyrus (also called the Golenishev papyrus) is written. It gives details of Egyptian geometry. (See this History Topic.)

About 1850BC

Babylonians know Pythagoras's Theorem. (See this History Topic.)

About 1800BC

Babylonians use multiplication tables.

About 1750BC

The Babylonians solve linear and quadratic algebraic equations, compile tables of square and cube roots. They use Pythagoras's theorem and use mathematics to extend knowledge of astronomy. (See this History Topic.)

About 1700BC

The Rhind papyrus (sometimes called the Ahmes papyrus) is written. It shows that Egyptian mathematics has developed many techniques to solve problems. Multiplication is based on repeated doubling, and division uses successive halving. (See this History Topic.)

About 1400BC

About this date a decimal number system with no zero starts to be used in China. (See this History Topic.)

About 800BC

Baudhayana is the author of one of the earliest of the Indian Sulbasutras. (See this History Topic.)

About 750BC

Manava writes a Sulbasutra. (See this History Topic.)

About 600BC

Apastamba writes the most interesting Indian Sulbasutra from a mathematical point of view. (See this History Topic.)

575BC

Thales brings Babylonian mathematical knowledge to Greece. He uses geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore.

530BC

Pythagoras of Samos moves to Croton in Italy and teaches mathematics, geometry, music, and reincarnation.

About 500BC

The Babylonian sexagesimal number system is used to record and predict the positions of the Sun, Moon and planets. (See this History Topic.)

About 500BC

Panini's work on Sanskrit grammar is the forerunner of the modern formal language theory.

List of mathematicians alive in 30000BC.

List of mathematicians alive in 500BC.

JOC/EFR August 2001
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