September 14, 2017

In Arabic script a dot denotes the numeral zero, a convention derived from the earlier use of the dot in the Devanagari script of South Asia. The Bakhshali manuscript, written in an early form of Devanagari script, has been newly dated to the 3rd or 4th century CE. Now in the Boolean Library at Oxford University, the manuscript was originally discovered near modern Peshawar, Pakistan, and is the oldest existing document using the dot to denote zero. This is not the oldest known use of zero. The ancient Babylonians had their own symbol in the cuneiform writing system.