Bubastis (London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1890)

Gifts to the gods recorded by King Osorkon I of Egypt in 921 B.C. include an astonishing 383 tons of gold and silver. On this fragment from a pillar in a temple at Bubastis, hieroglyphs indicate numbers—part of the tally of this vast gold treasure. Each upside down “U” stands for 10; each curl above them stands for 100. The “tadpoles” or “bird-shaped” figures at the bottom of the second column and at the top of the last column on the right represent 100,000 each, and the people with upraised arms are each symbols for 1,000,000.