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Oxford University has found that the written use of the zero is 500 years older than we thought. Scientists carbon dated the zero to the ancient Bakhshali Manuscript. Scientists found this dates back to the third century. Scientists used to believe the manuscript was from the eighth century. It was found in 1881. The zero we use today started from a round dot that was often used in India. There are several of these zeroes on the manuscript.
A professor explained the importance of the zero. He said we take it for granted. It is now "a key building block of the digital world". He said the zero evolved from a dot symbol found on the Bakhshali manuscript. He said it "was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics". Zero has many names in English, including nought and nil. It is often said as "oh" in telephone numbers. Slang terms for zero include nowt, nada, zilch and zip.
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