Abstract / Synopsis

Western North America abounds with rock art sites. From Alberta to New Mexico and from Minnesota to California one can find the enigmatic rock paintings and rock carvings left by the pre-Columbian inhabitants. The images left behind on the rocks of the American plains and deserts are those of humanoids and animals, arrows and spears, and a variety of geometric shapes and abstract designs. Also included, in great numbers, are sequences of repeated shapes and marks that scholars have termed "tallies." The tallies are presumed to be an ancient accounting of something or some things. This article examines rock art tallies as instances of ancient mathematical thought.



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© James V. Rauff

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