Iranian scholar believes Elamites used a decimal system in their
bills to reflect the heightened importance of trade at that era.
“Studies on an inscription representing an Elamite bill
manifest they were the first people in Iran to use a decimal
system in their business transactions. Other inscriptions in
pictorial language of pre-Elamite show animals, vessels and
other objects standing for fractions and decimal numbers,”
said Rogha’eh Behzadi, the author of “Ancient Tribes in
Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Fertile Crescent”.
She added, “On these tablets, there some designs of circles
and the thumb. A small circle is believed to have been used to
represent zero while the thumb was a symbol of 1. The pre-Elamites
language was read from right to left.”
Elam first came into existence sometime between 3500 and 2500
BC. In around 2000 BC the Elamite dynasty conquered most of
its zenith, Elam controlled an empire that stretched from what
is now the Baghdad area to the entrance of the Persian Gulf. The
Assyrians sacked the Elamite capital, Susa, in 647 BC.