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Experts discover China's most ancient mathematics document

By Ians

Beijing, Jan 8: A group of experts announced on Tuesday the discovery of a mathematics document 2,200 years old, the most ancient ever found in this country.

It consists of inscriptions on bamboo sheets from the Warring States period between 475-221 B.C., which explain methods of multiplying numbers lower than 100 as well as certain fractions, historian Li Xueqin, a specialist in ancient documents at Beijing's Tsinghua University, told Xinhua.

The document is the only one that has been found with studies of exact sciences before China's first historical dynasty, the Qin between 221-206 B.C., according to the director of the Chinese Society of the History of Mathematics, Guo Shuchun.

The knowledge inscribed on the bamboo sheets "was very advanced for the world at that time and is an important discovery in the mathematical history of China and even the world," Guo said.

The document was discovered in a collection of 2,500 bamboo sheets acquired by Tsinghua University in July 2008, which had previously been taken out of the country illegally.


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