Zero was invented in India by Indian mathematicians dating as early as 5th century. They widely used it in calculations, astronomy and astrology. Zero was spread by Arabians to the Europe and there on it was spread all over. Before this, all Europeans used roman numerical which were difficult to calculate on as they were in the form of Symbols, lengthy and had limits. (Data from the book “the calender” by D. E. Duncan). Dr. Wassenaar:
The nr. zero was invented independently in India and by the Maya. In India a decimal system was used, like ours, but they used an empty space for zero up to 3rd Century BC. This was confusing for an empty space was also used to separate numbers, and so they invented the dot for a zero. The first evidence for the use of the symbol that we now know as zero stems from the 7th century AD. The Maya invented the number zero for their calendars in the 3rd century AD. The number zero reached European civilisation through the Arabs after 800 AD. The Greek and Roman did not need the number zero for they did their calculations on an abacus. The name ‘zero’ comes from the arabic ‘sifr’.