News In Brief

3,000-year-old 'computer' found in Inner Mongolia

A group of peasants in Inner Mongolia has found a 3,000-year-old Chinese computing system, probably the oldest calculating instrument in the world, Monday's Peking Review said.

The peasants thought the 20 thin sticks of ivory were just a bunch of old chopsticks. But scientists said they were part of a mathematical system first recorded during the Zhou Dynasty. The stick method of calculation was based on the decimal system, like the abacus, which replaced it about 500 years ago and which remains the most commonly used Chinese calculator.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.