The use of number zero in you vary cultures is a rarity. It only appears in a numerical writing of particular type, of position, where the numbers are registered cm numbers whose order indicates the amounts the one that it mentions itself - for example, the units, the sets of ten the hundreds… Until today, archaeologists and historians had discovered four written numerations of position with zero: in the Mesopotâmia, in the Mesoamérica, India and China.

The oldest numerations of position were born in the Mesopotâmia, on to the necessities of accountthey gem and measure of the first civilizations. Age of current use in 1900 B.C., but unprovided of zero. The scribes if contented in leaving a blank space between the numbers. As the space he was not measured, a successive series of number could form different numbers, but the ambiguity did not bother the scribes.

The first known zero appeared delayed, in Babilônia, some centuries before Christ, under the form of a used graphical mark to indicate a separation. Its use remained limited and it did not eliminate all the ambiguities: its absence in the final position is equivalent not to confer precision to the unit in use. The job of this first zero, however, did not have continuity.

The zero that we use today came of India, where a diversion was to nominate great numbers and to calculate, for example, possible verse combinations according to one given poetical or grammatical structure. The zero was then indispensable, and of the used word to assign it, sunya (“empty”), had come our terms “ciphers” and “zero”. Later it the Europe for intermediary of the Arabs earned, but by much time this numeration decimal was had as devilish in the Ocidente.

The Mayans, specialists in the numerical analysis, are the only ones to have distinguished the cardinal zero (indicating of amounts) to count duration of the ordinal zero (position mark), used for the dates.

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