The Oldest Known Math Mistake

The latest video posted by the Stand-up Maths YouTube channel makes me feel both schadenfreude and worry that one of my sixth grade math tests that has long since been in a landfill might somehow remain intact for future archeologists to discover.

The video has an amusing narrative concerning some old clay tablets that are thousands of years old containing the earliest known example of a named person in writing (Kushim). One of the clay tablets also has a rather infamous status of also featuring the oldest known math error (5 x 1/2 = 5). There is at least one other discrepancy dealing with a total amount of grain but that error may be more ambiguous than the multiplication error.

While looking on-line for more information I found an article about the Sumerian mathematical system on The ancient Sumerians may have had some issues with accounting in their beer industry but they also did some pretty good astronomy and agriculture. The Sumerians were also apparently great timekeepers since we get our 12 hour days and 60 minute hours from them. The video mentions that the Sumerians had a lunar month cycle and added a leap month roughly once every three years. I guess that worked for them.

That about does it for now. Time to post this on the indelible blockchain after thurowly checking for spelling errors.