We are most familiar with the rule of position, or place value, as it is applied to the Hindu-Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. This is because their value depends on the place or position they occupy in a written numerical expression. For example, the number 5 represents 5 units, 50 is 5 tens, 500 is 5 hundreds, and so on. The values of the 5s depends upon their position in the numerical expression. It is thought that the Chinese, Indian, Mayan, and Mesopotamian (Babylonian) cultures were the first to develop this concept of place value.
The Babylonians left behind impressive artifacts and also advances in mathematics. They were the first civilization to create a positional system for numbers.