History of Mathematics
In the Pre-Columbian Americas, the Maya civilization that flourished in Mexico and Central America during the 1st millennium AD developed a unique tradition of mathematics that, due to its geographic isolation, was entirely independent of existing European, Egyptian, and Asian mathematics. Maya numerals used a base of twenty, the vigesimal system, instead of a base of ten that forms the basis of the decimal system used by most modern cultures. The Maya used mathematics to create the Maya calendar as well as to predict astronomical phenomena in their native Maya astronomy. While the concept of zero had to be inferred in the mathematics of many contemporary cultures, the Maya developed a standard symbol for it.