Newly-found documents are exciting mathematicians worldwide. The records of an Italian merchant and astronomer from the 1440s show a decimal point. This find is significant because it means the decimal point is 150 years older than we previously thought. The merchant made many observations of the heavens. He also wrote horoscopes. A mathematician noticed the decimal point in one of the merchant's works on astronomy.

Decimal points are an important part of life today. Some versions of decimals did exist 1,000 years ago. One form was used in the Islamic world in the 900s. It is likely the merchant travelled to the Middle East and learnt from scholars there. Intellectuals in China also used a version in the 1200s. The previous earliest known use of the decimal point was in 1593. A German astronomer used a system of decimals in his study of space.

**Try the same news story at these levels:**

Decimal Point - Level 5** or ** Decimal Point - Level 6

**Sources**

- https://
**phys.org**/news/2024-02-decimal-centuries-older-historians-thought.html - https://www.
**msn.com**/en-us/news/technology/history-of-math-shaken-up-as-fundamental-point-150-years-older-than-thought/ar-BB1iFllb - https://www.
**livescience.com**/physics-mathematics/mathematics/worlds-oldest-known-decimal-point-discovered-in-merchants-notes-from-1440s-italy

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