Can you imagine a time when people did not use numbers?
The first people on earth lived by hunting wild animals and collecting wild fruit and nuts.
They had no need to count.
Numbers did not matter to them.
But then, about 11,000 years ago, herdsmen began to keep flocks of sheep and goats.
They had to be able to count so that they would know if any of their animals were missing.
The first calculations were made by counting in ones—’1 and 1 and 1,’ and soon.
This method of counting is called tallying.
One way herdsmen used to tally was to put a stone on a pile for each animal.
Other ways were to tie knots in a length of rope, cut notches in sticks, or make scratches on a rock. Each stone, knot, notch, or scratch represented one sheep or goat.