The Lebombo Bone is an ancient mathematical artifact discovered in the Lebombo mountains located between South Africa and Swaziland in the 1970s. It is a Baboon fibula that was used as a Tally stick. It is roughly 35,000 years old, older than the Ishango bone. It is conjectured to have been used for tracking lunar and/or menstrual cycles, due to the 29 marks on it.
One of the oldest mathematical artifacts known, a small piece of the fibula of a baboon, found near Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains between South Africa and Swaziland. Discovered in the 1970s during excavations of Border Cave and dated about 35,000 B.C., the Lebombo bone is marked with 29 clearly defined notches. This suggests it may have been used as a lunar phase counter, in which case African women may have been the first mathematicians, because keeping track of menstrual cycles requires a lunar calendar. Certainly, the Lebombo bone resembles calendar sticks still used by Bushmen in Namibia.
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