#### MarkMas

##### Member

- Messages
- 3,891

- Thread starter spkennyuk
- Start date

- Messages
- 3,891

- Messages
- 3,891

Happy to have a clue, but I am not guessing!!!Hmmm - seems like people are lost, and there is a degree of guesswork going on. Time for a clue?

30 was based on - "Count to five on one hand, and then, save the five on one finger of the other hand, then count to five again, and save, until you have 5+5+5+5+5 on one hand and 5 on the other = 30.

And then I thought, wait, you could just do the whole thing in base 5 - so 11111 (on one hand) in base 5 is 781 plus 5 (on the other hand), which is, um 786 (sorry, I had 785, before)

- Messages
- 2,909

Very good... I apologise profusely!Happy to have a clue, but I am not guessing!!!

30 was based on - "Count to five on one hand, and then, save the five on one finger of the other hand, then count to five again, and save, until you have 5+5+5+5+5 on one hand and 5 on the other = 30.

And then I thought, wait, you could just do the whole thing in base 5 - so 11111 (on one hand) in base 5 is 781 plus 5 (on the other hand), which is, um 786 (sorry, I had 785, before)

Not the answer I’m after though, and the use of a calculator for this question is strictly forbidden (not many existed in Babylonian times…)

- Messages
- 34,505

I considered that as an answer as well, with exactly the same logic. Problem here is how do we define counting. As previous using Binary you can count up to a lot. Many different ways of using fingers to countHappy to have a clue, but I am not guessing!!!

30 was based on - "Count to five on one hand, and then, save the five on one finger of the other hand, then count to five again, and save, until you have 5+5+5+5+5 on one hand and 5 on the other = 30.

And then I thought, wait, you could just do the whole thing in base 5 - so 11111 (on one hand) in base 5 is 781 plus 5 (on the other hand), which is, um 786 (sorry, I had 785, before)

Good stuff!

C

- Messages
- 8,795

225, they counted on their finger joints...

- Messages
- 3,891

Well, that sounds like225, they counted on their finger joints...

3 joints x 5 fingers x 2 hands = 30

or

3 joints x 5 fingers x 6 (five other fingers to keep track plus one final hand) = 90

- Messages
- 2,909

Erm - is this not what I said?So what you mean is 'How highdidBabylonians count on their fingers'

C

Finger joints is correct... 225 is not225, they counted on their finger joints...

- Messages
- 2,909

Getting closer....Well, that sounds like

3 joints x 5 fingers x 2 hands = 30

or

3 joints x 5 fingers x 6 (five other fingers to keep track plus one final hand) = 90

As an aside, who has three jointed thumbs?

- Messages
- 34,505

Erm - noErm - is this not what I said?

COk - I learnt this yesterday.

What is the highest number a Babylonian could count to using just their hands?

- Messages
- 3,891

OK so:Well, that sounds like

3 joints x 5 fingers x 2 hands = 30

or

3 joints x 5 fingers x 6 (five other fingers to keep track plus one final hand) = 90

14 joints x 2 hands = 28

or

14 joints x 6 (five other fingers to keep track plus one final hand) = 84

- Messages
- 8,795

60?

- Messages
- 2,909

The Babylonians used a sexagesimal (base 60) system. The thumb on the counting hand points at each finger joint, and gives you 1-12. The second hand is used to count multiples of 12, so 5*12=60

This is (apparently) linked to why 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 360 degrees, etc... Also, 60 is a superior highly composite number, and is divisible by lots of numbers. This helps makes fractions and mental arithmetic easier....

- Messages
- 34,505

Why? 1023 is just as plausible!But given the ORIGINAL question, I'm still claiming the prize at 786

C

- Messages
- 2,909

Please explain?Why? 1023 is just as plausible!

C

- Messages
- 34,505