Paseo Bravo The Math of the Maya
A Base 20 System

The Maya used a base 20 system. Learning their math is simple and fun. Read the examples below, then take the math test to see how well you do with the math of the Maya.

In the math of the Maya, a dot was used to symbolize 1 (one), two dots for the number 2, three dots for 3, and four dots for 4.

The number 5 (five) was represented by a bar. For the number 10, there were two bars; 15 was three bars; and 20 was four bars.

Paseo Bravo Paseo Bravo

Example:

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In the example above, one dot (the number 1) plus two dot (the number 2) equals 3 dot (the number 3). So, 1 plus 2 equals 3.


Example:

Paseo Bravo Paseo Bravo Paseo BravoPaseo Bravo Paseo Bravo

In the example above, one dot (the number 1) plus one bar (the number 5) equals the number 6. So, 1 plus 5 equals 6.


Example:

Paseo Bravo Paseo Bravo Paseo BravoPaseo Bravo Paseo Bravo

In the example above, four dots (the number 4) plus two bars (the number 10) equals the number 14. So, 4 plus 10 equals 14.


Example:

Paseo Bravo Paseo Bravo Paseo BravoPaseo Bravo Paseo Bravo

In the example above, the first symbol is the number 9 (4 plus 5) , then add the second symbol (the number 10) for a total of 19. So, 9 plus 10 equals 19.

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