# Origin and evolution of numbers

Numbers appeared when men needed to count. The first civilizations only used three symbols: one, two and many.

The symbols used by a culture and its standards form a **numeral system**.

For example: the Egyptian numeral system was an additive system. The Egyptians used these symbols:

This is called an additive system because, in order to write a number, we add symbols until we reach the desired quantity.

Example:

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