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Counting and Arithmetic of the Inca

Author(s): Ximena Catepillán | Waclaw Szymanski

Journal: Revista Latinoamericana de Etnomatemática
ISSN 2011-5474

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 47;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Etnomatemáticas | Inca | Yupana | Aritmética

The Inca Empire - the greatest pre-Columbian empire on the American continent - extended from Ecuador to central Chile for more than five thousand miles. Its capital was Cuzco established in the high Peruvian Andes. This highly advanced civilization developed a counting system used to run the empire - in particular, to build the 14,000 mile road structure and monumental architecture. Some of the algorithms believed to be used by the Inca to do computations using a yupana, an ancient calculating device, will be presented, as well as classroom activities for the course “Mathematics in Non-European Cultures” for non Mathematics and Science majors offered at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
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