30000 BC - 500 BC
Palaeolithic peoples in central Europe and France record numbers on bones.
Early geometric designs used.
A decimal number system is in use in Egypt.
Babylonian and Egyptian calendars in use.
The first symbols for numbers, simple straight lines, are used in Egypt.
The abacus is developed in the Middle East and in areas around the Mediterranean.
Hieroglyphic numerals in use in Egypt. (See this History Topic.)
Babylonians begin to use a sexagesimal number system for recording financial transactions. It is a place-value system without a zero place value. (See this History Topic.)
Harappans adopt a uniform decimal system of weights and measures.
The Moscow papyrus (also called the Golenishev papyrus) is written. It gives details of Egyptian geometry. (See this History Topic.)
Babylonians use multiplication tables.
The Babylonians solve linear and quadratic algebraic equations, compile tables of square and cube roots. They use Pythagoras's theorem and use mathematics to extend knowledge of astronomy. (See this History Topic.)
The Rhind papyrus (sometimes called the Ahmes papyrus) is written. It shows that Egyptian mathematics has developed many techniques to solve problems. Multiplication is based on repeated doubling, and division uses successive halving. (See this History Topic.)
About this date a decimal number system with no zero starts to be used in China. (See this History Topic.)
Apastamba writes the most interesting Indian Sulbasutra from a mathematical point of view. (See this History Topic.)
Thales brings Babylonian mathematical knowledge to Greece. He uses geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore.
Pythagoras of Samos moves to Croton in Italy and teaches mathematics, geometry, music, and reincarnation.