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Maya numbers are based around the number 20, so in Maya numbers , 20 is a 1 and a 0. So write a dot for the 1 and leave a gap below it. Then below the gap, draw a clamshell – the Mayan symbol for zero. To write numbers from 21–39, think of them as 20 plus something.

The Babylonians used a base-sixty (sexigesimal) system . In this chapter, we wrap up with a specific example of a civilization that actually used a base system other than 10. The Mayan civilization is generally dated from 1500 BCE to 1700 CE.

Similar to the number system we use today , the Mayan system operated with place values. To achieve this place value system they developed the idea of a zero placeholder. The Mayan system is in base 20 (vigesimal) rather than base 10 (decimal). This system also uses a different digit representation.

The vigesimal /vɪˈdʒɛsɪməl/ or base – 20 ( base -score) numeral system is based on twenty (in the same way in which the decimal numeral system is based on ten). Vigesimal is derived from the Latin adjective vicesimus.

The Maya used the following names for their powers of twenty: kal (20), bak (400), pic (8,000), calab (160,000), kinchil (3,200,000) and alau (64,000,000).

The first recorded zero appeared in Mesopotamia around 3 B.C. The Mayans invented it independently circa 4 A.D. It was later devised in India in the mid-fifth century, spread to Cambodia near the end of the seventh century, and into China and the Islamic countries at the end of the eighth.

Maya mathematics constituted the most sophisticated mathematical system ever developed in the Americas. The Maya counting system required only three symbols: a dot representing a value of one, a bar representing five, and a shell representing zero.

The Babylonian cuneiform method of recording quantities, approximately 5000 years old, is among the oldest numeral systems in existence. They developed a base-60 (sexidecimal) system with numbers less than sixty represented in base-ten.

Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.

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Base 21 or unovigesimal numeral system is based on twenty-one. The twenty one symbols used are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J and K. Plural name is base – 21 .

The four most common number system types are: Decimal number system (Base- 10 ) Binary number system (Base- 2 ) Octal number system (Base- 8 ) Hexadecimal number system (Base- 16 )

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