The Maya Abacus

The Mesoamerican abacus is called a “Nepohualtzintzin.” The arrangement of the Maya Abacus, or Nepohualtzintzin, is with seven beads (or balls or cacao beans) of two colors per level.  Four of the beads are of one color, representing single units; and three of the beads are another color, representing five single units on the same level. The value of one of the four beads are single unit sums which are equal to the sum of all the units of one level below it.  On the Maya abacus, the first level’s sum is twenty…

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The Ancient Maya Concept of Fractions

The word fractions comes from “fractus,” the Latin word for broken. It represents a part of a whole or any number of equal parts of the whole. Broken or fractured from the whole. A common, vulgar, or simple fraction consists of an integer numerator, which is displayed above a line (or before a slash), and a non-zero integer denominator, displayed below (or after) that line. The numerator represents a number of equal parts and the denominator indicates how many of those parts make up a whole. For example, in the…

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