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The manuscript has now been carbon-dated and the results show we must re-write history of mathematics and the number zero. It was originally thought that manuscript was from the 9th century, but the dating methods revealed that the oldest pages are from somewhere between 224 A.D and 383 AD.
A recent discovery shows history of mathematics should be re-written and the number 0 is much older than previously thought.
In 1881, a local farmer stumbled across an ancient valuable manuscript that been housed by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian library since 1902.
The Bakhshali manuscript, named after the village where is was discovered consists of 70 leaves of birch bark, filled with mathematics and text in the form of Sanskrit.
originally posted by: Sillyolme
I'd love to see the equation just to see it's complexity. The concept of a place holder or a symbol indicating less than one is quite complex I'd love to see it translated to Arabic numbers and the text provided with it.
Was it a bill of sale? An account of wages? Inventory of live stock?
I find this fascinating.
"The one that we got the zero from came from the Fertile Crescent." It first came to be between 400 and 300 B.C. in Babylon, Seife says, before developing in India, wending its way through northern Africa and, in Fibonacci's hands, crossing into Europe via Italy.
It began to take shape as a number, rather than a punctuation mark between numbers, in India in the fifth century A.D., says Robert Kaplan, author of The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero (Oxford University Press, 2000). "It isn't until then, and not even fully then, that zero gets full citizenship in the republic of numbers," Kaplan says. Some cultures were slow to accept the idea of zero, which for many carried darkly magical connotations.
The second appearance of zero occurred independently in the New World, in Mayan culture, likely in the first few centuries A.D. "That, I suppose, is the most striking example of the zero being devised wholly from scratch," Kaplan says.
Kaplan pinpoints an even earlier emergence of a placeholder zero, a pair of angled wedges used by the Sumerians to denote an empty number column some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.