What is the origin of mathematics? Where did symbols and terms used by Bronze Age scribes come from? Gerdes finds the answer in human work--the activity of making tools, objects, and utensils--and the subsequent dynamic evolution to abstract concepts. He traces geometrical thinking in early history and also finds it in indigenous peoples-social activities that have survived colonization.
In his foreword, Dirk Struik sees Gerdes's work as having wide application in improving school instruction in mathematics. --Publisher's summary.