- Rod calculus
**Rod calculus**or rod calculation is the method of mathematical computation withcounting rods in China from TheWarring States toMing dynasty before the counting rods were replaced by more convenient and fasterabacus .**Hardware**The basic equipment for carrying out rod calculus is a bundle of

counting rods and a counting board. The counting rods are usually made of bamboo sticks, about 12cm- 15mm in length, 2mm to 4 mm diameter, sometimes from animal bones, or ivory and jade (for well heeled merchants). A counting board could be a table top, a wooden board with or without grid, on the floor or on sand.In

1971 Chinese archeologists unearthed a bundle of well preserved animal bone counting rods stored in a silk pouch from a tomb in Qian Yang county in Shanxi province, dated back to the first half ofHan dynasty (206 BC - 8AD). In1975 a bundle of bamboo counting rods was unearthed.The use of counting rods for rod calculus flourished in the

Warring States , although no archeological artifacts were found earlier than the Western Han Dynasty(the first half ofHan dynasty , however archeologist did unearth software artifacts of rod calculus dated back to theWarring States ); since the rod calculus software must have went along with rod calculus hardware, there is no doubt that rod calculus was already flourishing during the Warring States more than 2200 years ago.**oftware**The key software required for rod calculus was a simple 45 phrase positional decimal multiplication table used in China since antiquity, called the

nine-nine table , which were learned by heart by pupils, merchants, government officials and mathematicians alike.**Rod numbers**

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