Birch Bark manuscripts

alakendu das mailmealakendudas at REDIFFMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 23 14:59:56 UTC 2011

To all my colleagues and schlors in Indology,
> I was just going through a mail by Dr.Jan E.M.Houben regarding birch
> bark manuscripts , trying to work out a similarity with Indus seals.
> The thought of Birch bark,immeadiately reminded me that ancient India
> boasts of the oldest manuscript in South Asia in Mathematics which was
> located at Bakshali, near Peshawar(once a part of British India).The
> period ranges between 1st cent C.E to 9th-12th C.E. A bunch of 70 birch
> leaves were excavated .It was accidentally discovered by a farmer while
> digging.The contents of the manuscipts ranged from Arithmetic including
> fractions,square roots, etc to Algebra including equations of various
> types. Another unique feature of Bakshali manuscript is the novel use of
> Decimal system where a dot has been used for zero.and negative numbers.
> It's widely acknowledged that India was the first country to introduce
> the concept of Decimal system. There were many other areas of
> mathematics where India were the poineer.
> It indeed makes me proud as an Indian.
> mailmealakendudas at

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