News > The early history of counting

The early history of counting

28/08/2023 07:04 PM | Click to read full article

In 1973, while excavating a cave in the Lebombo Mountains, near South Africa’s border with Swaziland, Peter Beaumont found a small, broken bone with twenty-​nine notches carved across it. The so-called Border Cave had been known to archaeologists since 1934, but the discovery during World War II of skeletal remains dating to the Middle Stone Age heralded a site of rare importance. The cave gave up its most significant treasure: the earliest known tally stick, the notched three-​inch long baboon fibula.