SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Child's mathematics tablet. Reproduction of a tablet attributed to the Byzantine period (324-610 AD). Also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire began as the city of Byzantium, which had grown up from an ancient Greek colony in European Turkey. The city was taken in AD 330 by Constantine I and was refounded as Constantinople. The tablet shows two tables of fractions in Greek notation where numbers are represented as Greek letters. At this time in the Eastern Roman Empire fractions were expressed as unit fractions (e.g. 1/2 + 1/4 for 3/4). The original would have been written in ink on the recessed surface of a wooden tablet.
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