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Bakhshali manuscript

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The Bakhshali manuscript is an ancient mathematical text written on birch bark that was found in 1881 in the village of Bakhshali, Mardan (near Peshawar in present-day Pakistan, historical Gandhara). It is perhaps "the oldest extant manuscript in Indian mathematics".[4] For some portions a carbon-date was proposed of AD 224–383 while for other portions a carbon-date as late as AD 885–993 in a recent study, but the dating has been criticised by specialists on methodological grounds (Plofker et al. 2017[1] and Houben 2018 §3[2]). The manuscript contains the earliest known Indian use of a zero symbol.[5][6] It is written in a form of literary Sanskrit influenced by contemporary dialects.

Quick facts: Bakhshali manuscript, Type, Date, Place of or...
Bakhshali manuscript
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
One of the Bakhshali manuscripts.
TypeMathematical text
DateAD 224–383/ 885–993 (proposed carbon-dates, recently disputed on methodological grounds: Plofker et al. 2017,[1] Houben 2018 §3[2])
Place of originBakhshali, Pakistan
Language(s)Sanskrit with influence from local dialects
MaterialBirch bark
FormatSeventy leaves
ConditionToo fragile to be handled[3]
ScriptSharada script
Contentsmaths text