Mathematical notation is used in mathematics. The complexity of such notation ranges from relatively simple symbolic representations, such as one and two; to conceptual symbols, such as + and dy/dx; to equations, functions, and variables. It is believed that such notation was first developed, at least 50,000 years ago, in order to assist with counting.
Early mathematical ideas were represented by collections of rockss, sticks, bone, clay, stone, wood carvings, and knotted ropes. The tally is a timeless way of counting. Perhaps the oldest known mathematical texts are those of ancient Sumer.