It is well known that positional numeral systems are not possible without the concept of zero and corresponding notation. This is the necessary condition, but not sufficient one.
This is wrong. See eg Wikipeda:
The bijective base-10 system is a base ten positional numeral system that does not use a digit to represent zero. It instead has a digit to represent ten, such as A.
In the bijective base-26 system one may use the Latin alphabet letters "A" to "Z" to represent the 26 digit values one to twenty-six. (A=1, B=2, C=3, ..., Z=26)
With this choice of notation, the number sequence (starting from 1) begins A, B, C, ..., X, Y, Z, AA, AB, AC, ..., AX, AY, AZ, BA, BB, BC, ...
Each digit position represents a power of twenty-six, so for example, the numeral ABC represents the value 1 × 262 + 2 × 261 + 3 × 260 = 731 in base 10.
Many spreadsheets including Microsoft Excel use this system to assign labels to the columns of a spreadsheet, starting A, B, C, ..., Z, AA, AB, ..., AZ, BA, ..., ZZ, AAA, etc.
And for your question about history:
Forslund (1995) appears to be another rediscovery, and hypothesizes that if ancient numeration systems used bijective base-k, they might not be recognized as such in archaeological documents, due to general unfamiliarity with this system.