Join Phil and Julie for the first episode of the podcast, that's all about maths. Because as we will find out - it matters!

Press play up top and read what Julie says here...

Maths… it's numbers, isn't it? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. It’s one of the first things we learn as a toddler: to recognise the numerals that represent the numbers zero to nine.

A numeral is just the symbol for a number. For example, the numeral or symbol for zero is an elongated or stretched out circle, the numeral for one is a vertical line. You already know this because you see them alot and we use them in maths ALL THE TIME.

They seem so simple. But, where do they come from? Why do we use these numbers?

The first time a form of counting and numbers were discovered was from the paleolithic age, which was about two and a half million years ago. Early humans who lived at this time would have likely needed to count their livestock, to make sure none had gone missing.

They didn’t have any form of mathematical symbol for each number as we know it today, so counting was done by drawing lines. Four straight, vertical lines and a fifth diagonal through the first four to make it to five. We call them tally marks.

Over time, the numerals became a bit more sophisticated. Different civilisations developed different numerals: the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans all had their own ways of writing numbers. All were developed based on the same concept of tally marks though.

In this episode we explore the Roman Numerals that were used for thousands of years, and how it wasn’t until the 15th Century that the Europeans started using the numerals we recognise today.

ALL the Maths Matters episodes and articles so far are here!

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