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counting board

Historically, a counting board was a portable flat surface, usually of wood or stone, on which a user placed objects such as pebbles or beads for the purpose of maintaining a count of something. The counting board is thought to have originated so that you didn't have to draw lines on the ground or in sand as points of reference for counters every time you needed to add figures up. The oldest surviving counting board was discovered on the island of Salamis in 1899 and was used in Babylonia, circa 300 B. C.

The counting board led to the abacus .

This was last updated in April 2005
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