The idea of number already existed among the first human settlers. They used different signs to represent quantities, measure the passage of time, carry out a record of crops or animals and commercial transactions.
Among the oldest methods of counting are the fingers, small stones or notches in bones or tablets.
An example of these methods is the vessel seen in the image. It was found in Iraq. It is made of clay and it has the following inscription: 35 sheeps that have given birth to lambs, 6 goats, 7 lambs. When the vessel was opened, 48 small stones were found that correspond to the 48 animals of the inscription.
There is another example dating from 35,000 BC. It is a baboon bone discovered near the sources of the Nile, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the bone you can see different marks grouped in different ways.