Salamis Counting Table (replica)

Description
In the ancient Middle East, those doing computations often did so by moving small stones known as calculi (from the Greek khalix, meaning pebble) along lines drawn on stone or sand. This is the source of our word calculate. A counting table was found on the Greek island of Salamis.
This object is a replica of the Salamis counting table in the Epigraphical Museum in Athens. It is a white slab of marble with a crack in the middle and another one on the right side. The right half contains 11 equally spaced lines crossed at the middle by a line parallel to the base. On the left side are five parallel lines. Numerous other squiggles and figures appear as well. The replica was made at the Smithsonian Institution by Dorothy Briggs.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1966
maker
Briggs, Dorothy
Physical Description
marble (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 4.5 cm x 150 cm x 75.5 cm; 1 25/32 in x 59 1/16 in x 29 23/32 in
ID Number
1989.3016.01
catalog number
1989.3016.01
nonaccession number
1989.3016
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Abacus
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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