Article Image
News Link • Anthropology

An Ancient Polynesian Culture Used A Completely Unique Binary Counting System

•, Andy Kiersz
Binary is generally associated with high technology and modern mathematics.

However, in a new paper published Dec. 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, psychologists Andrea Bender and Sieghard Beller discuss how centuries ago, a Polynesian culture on the small island of Mangareva developed a binary system to facilitate counting and calculations.

Mangareva is located in French Polynesia, about 1,000 miles southeast of Tahiti. Humans settled the island in three main waves — two waves of Polynesian settlement between 500 and 800 CE and between 1150 and 1450 CE, and a third wave after European colonization in the 19th century.

Mangarevan society, like many Polynesian societies, was based around a strict hierarchy of chiefs and peasants. The economy was built around trade, tributes, and feasts — peasants would offer the chief tributes of staple food products, particularly turtles, fish, coconuts, octopuses, and breadfruit, and these goods would be redistributed by the chief at large feasts.


Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network:

Purse.IO Save on All Amazon Purchases