Ancient Times Tables Written on Wood Found in Western Japan

Society Culture

Kyoto, July 27 (Jiji Press)--The Kyoto Prefecture Research Center for Archaeological Properties has announced the discovery of a strip of wood from the eighth century with 35 individual multiplications written on it.

The wood strip, unearthed at the Tsuruo archeological site in the city of Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan, is 219 millimeters long, 49 millimeters wide and 6 millimeters thick.

As the site had a public office at the time, the research center believes that civil servants who worked there used the strip of wood to speed up tax collection work.

The front of the strip shows the eight and nine times tables written in ink, while the back side has the five to seven times tables. The center determined that the wood strip was from the Nara period from pottery found nearby.

Around 80 strips of wood dating back to ancient to medieval times with multiplication tables written on them have been found in Japan so far.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press