The abacus (plural abaci or abacuses), also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool probably originated in Babylonia, southern Iraq and later spread to Europe, China and Russia where it remained the dominant calculating tool, centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system. The exact origin of the abacus is still unknown. Today, abaci are often constructed as a bamboo frame with beads sliding on wires, but originally they were beans or stones moved in grooves in sand or on tablets of wood, stone, or metal. MORE
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