The most conclusive academic study on the subject, was conducted by Japanese scholar Dr Hayashi Takao, and, based on factors such as the style of writing and the literary and mathematical content, it asserted that it probably dated from between the 8th and the 12th century.
The new carbon dating reveals that the reason why it was previously so difficult for scholars to pinpoint the Bakhshali manuscript’s date is because the manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark, is in fact composed of material from at least three different periods.
Scientists from the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, have used carbon dating to trace the figure’s origins to the famous ancient Indian scroll, the Bakhshali manuscript.
The text dates back to the third or fourth century, making it the oldest recorded use of the symbol.
The concept and associated value of the mathematical symbol ‘zero’ is used the world over as a fundamental numerical pillar.