BBC News: Carbon dating reveals earliest origins of zero symbol

"Carbon dating shows an ancient Indian manuscript has the earliest recorded origin of the zero symbol.

The Bakhshali manuscript is now believed to date from the 3rd or 4th Century, making it hundreds of years older than previously thought.

It means the document, held in Oxford, has an earlier zero symbol than a temple in Gwailor, India.

The finding is of "vital importance" to the history of mathematics, Richard Ovenden from Bodleian Libraries said.

The zero symbol evolved from a dot used in ancient India and can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript.

The dot originally indicated orders of magnitude in a number system and eventually evolved to have a hollow centre, the Bodleian Libraries said.

Earlier research had dated the Bakhshali manuscript to the 8th and 12th Century, but now carbon dating has shown it to be centuries older.
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That's the thing with carbon dating; as the technology improves the dating evolves and can change considerably the way we understood history. Imagine if Yamna or Bell Beaker skeletons were to be re-dated by half a millennium...