Bharata Bharati

Bakhshali Manuscript (ca. 3rd-4th century)

Pallava BaglaThe 3rd-4th-century Bakhshali Manuscript found near Taxila predates a 9th-century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh – Pallava Bagla

A new carbon dating study commissioned on an ancient birch bark manuscript has found that the indispensable digit dates to as early as the 3rd or 4th century—approximately five centuries older than scholars previously believed.

The research was performed on the Bakhshali Manuscript, a mathematical document written on birch bark which was found close to ancient Taxila now near Peshawar in 1881. It has been housed in the University of Oxford since 1902.

The findings mean that the manuscript predates a 9th century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, which was previously considered to be the oldest recorded example of a zero used as a placeholder in India, a report by Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries said.

The findings…

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