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# An Analysis of the Ancient European Symbols

More than 5000 years ago an Egyptian ruler recorded perhaps with a bit of exaggeration the capture of 120000 prisoners 400000 oxen and 1422000 goats This event was inscribed on a ceremonial mace which now is in a museum in Oxford England The ancient Egyptians developed the art of counting to a high degree but their system of numeration was very harsh For example the number 1000 was symbolized by a picture of a lotus flower and the number 2000 was symbolized by a picture of two lotus flowers growing out of a bush Although these symbols called hieroglyphics allowed the Egyptians to write large numbers the numeration system itself was clumsy and awkward to work with The number 999 for instance required 27 individual marks The Egyptian symbols were usually written from highest to lowest in value This shows that the Egyptians numeration system did use place value Each symbol could be repeated as many as nine times Sometimes the numbers were written from right to left left to right other times There are ten symbols that were commonly used by the Egyptians to form a variety of different numbers The vertical line or staff had a value of one so if you wanted to write the number 5 you would draw 5 staffs like so The heel bone had a value of 10 so in order to write the number 20 you would have to draw two of them side by side The coiled rope represented the number 100 so in order to write a number greater than 100 such as 300 you would draw the symbol three times The lotus blossom carried a value of 1000 so in order to write a number

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