[vcf-midatlantic] oldest spreadsheet
hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Wed Feb 6 22:29:52 EST 2019
Long link, but it amounts to the Cairo Museum's July 2016 display of
papyrus found in 2013 which are associated with building the Great
Pyramid, during the 4th Dynasty of King Khufu. Look hard, and you'll
find an image of what's clearly a table of entries inscribed in
This came to my attention on a recent cable TV history show on the Great
Pyramid, where the narrator/archeologist referred to these as a "Excel
spreadsheet" of the supplies logistics at the port of entry for pyramid
goods and supplies.
Hieroglyphics for numeric values are not overly complicated, so with
patience one may be able to read off some of the notations. In the cited
description, it even says "Revenue was written in red, while what was
paid to workers would be written in black."
It's not quite a computer spreadsheet. But to see credit/debt paper
ledgers from 45 centuries ago is informative, and exciting. And among
the first business use of computers was for bookkeeping of this class.
so it has some meaning to vintage computing.
I don't know if the Babylonians used clay tablets in this fashion.
Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
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