The origin of zero begins in the Indian northern sub-continent, where a stone tablet called the Bakhshali Stone (pronounced bock-shall-ee) was discovered in the town of Gwalior, just outside of Delhi, India. This is the first documented archeological find providing researchers with evidence to trace the origins of zero.
However, other cultures give us clues.
The ancient Babylonians didn't have a symbol for zero, this caused both uncertainty and political anxiety for political dynasties that wish permanent subjugation of their people. The library of Nineveh (Mosul, Iraq) shows great care temple priests acting as accountants devoted to maintenance of official archives. Babylonian scribes left an empty space for zero in their digits, providing consternation for discerning beginning or ending of numerical citations. Eventually, the Babylonians did enforce the use of symbolic notation for zero, however, this did not resolve the cognitive difficulties associated with the absence of zero.
Although the Mayan Empires of Central American highlands did have zero, their remoteness prevented any cultural ascendancy in commerce, astronomy or in the emergence of social, political institutions to consolidate this discovery.
The emergence of Muslim Eurasian nomads immediately after the ascendancy of the Mongol Empire provides great evidentiary support tracing the movement of the concept of zero moving west from the eastern Mediterranean originating in the Indian sub-continent.
With the introduction of zero from Islamic nomads, we have an astonishing achievement in conformity for modeling any achievement in astronomy, accounting or commerce.
Historical bibliography: Bakhshali Manuscript and the Ganita Sara Samgraha (850 A.D., other notable Indian mathematicians were Brahmagupta (d. 668 A.D. pronounced Brah-mag-goo-pa, Bhaskara (d. 680 A.D. pronounced Bass-car-rah, and finally Mahavira d. 870 A.D. pronounced Mah-haa-vira).
The most notable Islamists is Al-Samawal's The Dazzling (1150 A.D.), and finally into the eastern Mediterranean landing in Byzantine Florence with Fibonacci's 'Liber Abaci' (1202 A.D.)