Africa has often been described as the cradle of all humanity and continues to prove so with the discovery of fascinating technologies dated back thousands of years.
Over those years, Africans employed several techniques to make their lives better, such as in hygiene, cosmetology and very interestingly, counting.
Before numerals were brought into Africa by colonizers, ancient Africans devised ways to count by way of keeping records on their livestock, crops and clan members.
Scroll through to learn some of these methods.
The Ishango bone is also another bone which is often confused with the Lebombo bone. It is sometimes called a tally stick. The Ishango bone was found covered in layers of Volcanic ashes on the shores of Lake Edward in the Ishango region in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was also made from the fibula of Baboons though it was discovered to be 20,000 years old, relatively younger than Lebombo. The bone has a sharp piece of quartz affixed to one end thought to be used for engraving and marking during counting.
Interestingly, Ancient Africans indulged in games such as Mancala that involved brainwork, Math and calculations and this was sometimes employed as a way to tally numbers. Mancala is known to be one of oldest games in the world, dating back thousands of years. Researchers have discovered pits carved into the roofs of ancient Egyptian tombs in Luxor and Thebes believed to have been not only a game but used for the game or general tallying. It has other native names such as Bao and Oware. These games are so popular in Africa and became the favourite pass time for slaves during the slave trade era.
Lebombo bone was discovered at Lebombo Mountains near Swaziland. It is aged back to between 44,200 and 43,000 years ago. It is made of two fibula bones of a baboon. It has several marks and incisions on them thought to be used for counting in those days. It is also believed that the women of those days used it to keep track of their monthly periods.