The Babylonians originally did not have a symbol for zero, therefore their notation is hard to interpret. Today, for example, we would find it difficult to tell the difference between 14, 104, and 1,004 without the place holder of zero. Instead the Babylonians left a space in the middle of numbers or at the end to distinguish the zero place holder. Thus, to us who are not use to reading Babylonian numerals, determining place value is difficult. Eventually however, they did come up with a symbol that represented the space between the number, yet they did not have a concept of zero as an actual number.

Around 650 zero became common in Indian mathematics. Mathematicians such as Brahmagupta, Mahavira, and Bhaskara used zero in mathematical operations. Brahmagupta, for example, explained that zero subtracted from itself is zero and zero multiplied by any number is zero. His only mistake was that of dividing by zero. The Bakshali manuscript may be the first document to ever have zero used in a mathematical purpose. Around 665 the Mayans also developed the number zero. However, it was more isolated where as the Indian concept of zero spread to surrounding civilizations such as the Arabs, Europeans, and Chinese.

Mayans used a base 20 numeral system. They however had three symbols, a shell shape, that represented zero, a dot, representing one, and a stick representing five. They used zero as a place holder. For example in the number 402, they would have 4 dots in the 100's place, a shell in the 10's place, and 2 dots in the one's place. They often used zero when it came to keeping track on their Long Count calendars.

Mayans used a base 20 numeral system. They however had three symbols, a shell shape, that represented zero, a dot, representing one, and a stick representing five. They used zero as a place holder. For example in the number 402, they would have 4 dots in the 100's place, a shell in the 10's place, and 2 dots in the one's place. They often used zero when it came to keeping track on their Long Count calendars.

The Chinese were estimated to begin the use of zero as a place holder somewhere between the 1st and 5th century. They used counting rods for calculations and according to

*A History of Mathematics,*the rods "gave a decimal representation of a number, with an empty space denoting zero." Zero was treated similarly to the way the Babylonians treated zero. It was more of place holder, unlike the Indians who developed the numerical zero. The oldest surviving mathematical text from the Chinese containing a symbol of zero was the was from 1247, the*Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections*.In 773, zero had reached the Middle East. The first to work on equations with zero was the famous mathematician Al-Khowarizmi. He worked on equations that equaled zero, where algebra was invented. By 879 zero was written very similar to how we do now of days, an oval shape, however, he wrote it smaller than the other numbers.

The Europeans, in the 11th century, began to use zero in operations such as addition and multiplication. Voyagers from Arabia were the first to bring texts of Brahmagupts and his colleagues. Fibonacci built on Al-Khowarizmi work in his book Liber Abaci. Fibonacci's developments with zer quickly spread via Italian merchants and German Bankers. Accountants were able to determine when the books were balanced based on when the positive and negative amounts were equal to zero. In the 13th century, manuals of calculation, such as multiplying, adding, and extracting roots, became common in Europe.

Hossein Arsham, a mathematician at the University of Baltimore, writes, "The introduction of zero into the decimal system in the thirteenth century was the most significant achievement in the development of a number system, in which calculation with large numbers became feasible. Without the notion of zero, the modeling process in commerce, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and industry would have been unthinkable. the lack of such a symbol is one of the serious drawbacks in the Roman numeral system."

Adding, subtracting, and multiplying by zero are now relatively common operations. Zero was not always agreed on and confused many great minds. The concept was not always concievable. Many though why do we need a symbol to represnt nothing. However, in the day and age we are in now, zero is just as common as any other integer. Developing zero has been one of man kinds most significant accomplishments.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_(number)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_numerals

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/zero.jsp

Adding, subtracting, and multiplying by zero are now relatively common operations. Zero was not always agreed on and confused many great minds. The concept was not always concievable. Many though why do we need a symbol to represnt nothing. However, in the day and age we are in now, zero is just as common as any other integer. Developing zero has been one of man kinds most significant accomplishments.

__Work Cited__https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_(number)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_numerals

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/zero.jsp