**This answer comes to us courtesy of Sam Wormley**

**See: http://www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/general/history.htm#Anchor-16126**

**If we are to delve into the history of mathematics, the first widely
used positional numbering system, in the Old World, was the base-60, "sexagesimal"
numbering system developed around 2,000 B.C. by the Babylonians.
This Babylonian positional system is still in wide use today, by virtually
everyone -- in the hours-minutes-seconds used to represent time, and degrees-minutes-seconds
used for angular measure.**

**During its entire history the sexagesimal system incorporated base-60
fractions (it's really an early example of floating point). A zero
symbol was added by Hellenistic times, following which the system spread
over virtually the entire civilized world, excepting China.**

**Users of sexagesimal -- mostly astronomers and mathematicians --
performed computations such as long division by close analogy to what is
done today using base-10. Ptolemy's famous _Almagest_ of 140 A.D.,
for example, utilized a zero symbol in conjunction with sexagesimal numerals
and fractions exactly as we do today. Usage of sexagesimals by astronomers
and mathematicians continued throughout the Byzantine and Islamic periods
into the modern mathematical era.**