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Words began with numbers!

October2

tablet1
“Much like today’s tablets, writing at length on the world’s first tablets was a pain in the neck. Fire-hardened clay tablets were really only convenient for scribbles and straight lines, just enough for simple accounting with graphic symbols and tick marks. “Words, in a sense, began with numbers” says Peter Watson in his superb book “Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud.

One of the earliest tablets uncovered in northern Iraq, near the site of the first big city, Mesopotamia (circa 2,000 BC), was marked with “Counters representing small cattle: 21 ewes that lamb, 6 female lambs, 8 full-grown male sheep.” In the beginning, writing was mostly for simple accounting. Glorified spreadsheets, really.” (source: venturebeat)

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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