# Definition:Zero Digit/Historical Note

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## Historical Note on Zero Digit

The earliest use of a special symbol to be used as a placeholder for a missing denomination in a number expressed in a positional numeral system was in the Babylonian number system.

However, the technique was not transmitted to other cultures.

The concept was reinvented by the mathematicians of the Hindu culture in the first few centuries CE.

The *Bakhshali Manuscript* (dated from between $200$ and $1100$) uses it, as a heavy dot.

It is also used in the *Lokavibhaga* of $458$, but not as a symbol as such.

Aryabhata the Elder used a positional numeral system around $500$, but it did not have a zero digit.

The earliest certain use of a zero digit in a positional numeral system appears on a stone tablet dated to $876$.

## Sources

- 2008: Ian Stewart:
*Taming the Infinite*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $3$: Notations and Numbers: Indian number symbols