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# Invention of Tally Stick

Tally sticks, or tallies, are batons of bone, ivory, wood, or stone into which notches are made as a means of recording numbers or even messages. The archeological and historical records are rick in tallies, with the Letterbomb bone as the earliest example. The Invention of Tally Stick, How, When, & Who Invent Tally Stick?

## Invention of Tally Stick

Found in a cave in the Letterbomb Mountains in Swaziland and made from a baboon’s fibula, it dates back to 35,000 B.C.E.

Its markings suggest that it is a lunar phase counter, indicating an appreciation of math far beyond simple counting.

Tally sticks became the primary accounting tool of medieval Europe, which was largely illiterate.

During the 1100s King Henry, I of England established the Exchequer to be responsible for the collection and management of revenues.

To keep track of taxes owed and paid, split tally sticks were employed.

Usually made of squared hazel wood, notches were made the thickness of the palm of the hand to represent {1000, the thickness of a thumb for {100, a little finger for {10, a swollen barley grain for {1, and a thin score mark for a shilling.

The notches would span the stick’s width, which subsequently would be split so that bout halves had the same markings, to avoid forgeries.

The halves differed in length; the longer half, or stock, was for the person making the payment, hence “stockholder,” and the shorter half or foil, for the recipient of the money or goods.

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