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This question about past cultures using non-base-10 systems is quite popular. The meat of the question was:

Have any non decimal numbering systems been used frequently in the past? If so, what were they?

I could see an argument for this question being categorized as a "big list" and "too broad," and therefore should be closed. Sure, there is a single answer of "yes there have been," but the question asks for examples of such cultures.

On the other hand, I think the history of bases is interesting and I want to read more.

Would it be useful for our community to describe why this should be on topic?

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I agree I was a bit worried about it when I saw how many answers there were - and clearly there is scope for more similar answers to turn up.

Might it work better if there was a collated answer summarising all the others?

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Yes I think it is on topic - "History of Mathematics" surely?

But yes it is a bit of a "big list" question.

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  • $\begingroup$ In my experience big list questions are typically closed. Why should this one remain open? $\endgroup$ – BMS Oct 30 '14 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ I can be on topic but still be a big list. Perhaps it should be re-worded to not be a big list? $\endgroup$ – winwaed Oct 30 '14 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ @winwaed I agree, it shouldn't take much to reword the question to put a greater emphasis on the history aspect $\endgroup$ – user22 Oct 30 '14 at 21:34
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Lock it for history reasons. It's not good but it's a valued question, but be clear that those questions are frowned upon.

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