- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Ancient Number Systems

By:   •  Essay  •  310 Words  •  December 17, 2009  •  912 Views

Page 1 of 2

Essay title: Ancient Number Systems


Ancient Number Systems

College Mathematics

Ancient Number Systems

This paper will provide a brief overview of selected ancient numbering systems, including Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Indian, and Mayan. In particular, key areas of both differences and commonality will be explored, such as base system, concept of zero, and effects of medium and economy.

Base Systems

Our present-day numbering system is known as a base 10 system (need name?). The Romans and Hindu used a base 10 system as well, although it was very different from our system in that it was not positional.

The Mayans used a system based on 20. This is referred to as a vigesimal system. One might assume that this arose from the practice of counting on both fingers and toes, whereas a base 10 system presumes that fingers only were used for counting.

The Babylonian system was hexasegimal, meaning that it was based on 60. This concept carries forward today in the way we think of time (60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hours, etc.)


Continue for 1 more page »  •  Join now to read essay Ancient Number Systems and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
Citation Generator

(2009, 12). Ancient Number Systems. Retrieved 12, 2009, from

"Ancient Number Systems" 12 2009. 2009. 12 2009 <>.

"Ancient Number Systems.", 12 2009. Web. 12 2009. <>.

"Ancient Number Systems." 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009.