Early mathematical ideas were represented by collections of rockss, sticks, bone, clay, stone, wood carvings, and knotted ropes. The tally is a timeless way of counting. Perhaps the oldest known mathematical texts are those of ancient Sumer.

See also:

- Numeral systems, or notation for writing numbers
- Cartesian Coordinate System
- Census Quipu
- Ishango Bone
- Scientific Notation