One leaf of the Bakhshali manuscript on birch bark.
In 1881 the Bakhshali manuscript, an ancient Indianmathematical text written on birch bark, was found in the village of Bakhshali, Mardan (near Peshawar in present-day Pakistan). It is perhaps the oldest extant manuscript in Indian mathematics. For some portions a carbon-date was proposed of 224–383 CE while for other portions a carbon-date as late as 885–993 CE in a recent study, but the methodology of the dating has been criticized by specialists. The manuscript, written in Sanskrit with significant influence of local dialects, contains the earliest record of the Indian use of the zero. The manuscript is incomplete, consisting of seventy leaves of birch bark, the intended order of which is unknown. It is preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (MS. Sansk. d. 14).