I was recently reading a translation of "The debate between Sheep and Grain" Babylonian creation myth. It mentioned the following in lines 130-142:
Every night your count is made and your tally-stick put into the ground, so your herdsman can tell people how many ewes there are and how many young lambs, and how many goats and how many young kids.
What was the purpose of the tally-stick? Why did the shepherds not simply remember the count? Why did it need to be driven into the ground?