The Babylonian Astronomical Diaries : A graphical analysis of their implied reference systemPart of : Mediterranean archaeology & archaeometry : international journal ; Vol.16, No.4, 2016, pages 167-173
The intent of this study is to describe the directional relations employed in the Babylonian Astronomical Diaries and visually demonstrate their function with charts showing positions of the Moon, planets and stars as viewed on dates corresponding with diary entries. The Babylonians observed and recorded celestial events each night for over six centuries during the first millennium BC. A number of cuneiform tablets containing these astronomical diaries have been recovered and were later translated by Abraham Sachs and Hermann Hunger. The majority of diary entries track the position of the Moon with reference to 31 “normal stars,” all within 10 degrees of the ecliptic. Entries specify the moon as being “above,” “below,” “in front of,” or “behind” a second body by a specified distance in “cubits.” The extant tablets fail to adequately define the reference system used for the topographical relations. Computer-generated star-charts that are specific for the date and location of selected diary entries show a general interdependence between the topographical relations and the celestial course of the Sun, Moon, and planets. John Steele has discussed the Babylonians as having considered the Moon and planets to move through the zodiac within their own individual bands. This is considered with regard to graphical data that represents a distinct correlation between diary descriptions and the path of the general direction of ecliptic travel.
Babylonian, astronomical diaries, normal stars, cuneiform tablets, cubit, finger
Περιέχει 3 εικόνες
- Barton, T. (1994). Ancient Astrology. London: Routledge.Britton, J. and Walker, C. B. F. (1996). Astronomy and Astrology in Mesopotamia. In Astronomy before the telescope, edited by Christopher B. F. Walker, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 42-67.Evans, J. (1998). The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy. New York: Oxford University Press.Graßhoff, G. (1999). Normal Star Observations in Late Babylonian Astronomical Diaries. In Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination, edited by Neil M. Swerdlow. Cambridge: MIT Press, 97-147.Horowitz, W. (2015). Mesopotamian Star Lists. In Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, edited by Clive L. N. Ruggles, New York: Springer, 1829-1833.Hunger, H. (1999). Non-mathematical Astronomical Texts and their Relationships. In Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination, edited by Neil M. Swerdlow. Cambridge: MIT Press, 77-96.Jones, A. (2004). A Study of Babylonian Observations of Planets near Normal Stars. Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 58, 475-536.Marriott, C. A. (2012). SkyMap Pro 11 [Astronomical software]. Cheshire: SkyMap Software.Rochberg, F. (2000). Astronomy and Calendars in Ancient Mesopotamia. In Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, vol. III, edited by Jack M. Sasson. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1925-1940.Roughton, N. A., Steele, J. M., and Walker, C. B. F. (2004). A Late Babylonian Normal and Ziqpu Star Text. Archive for History of the Exact Sciences, 58, 537-572.Sachs, A. and Hunger, H. (1988). Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia (Vol. 1: Diaries from 652 B.C. to 262 B.C.). Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften.Sachs, A. and Hunger, H. (1989). Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia (Vol. 2: Diaries from 261 B.C. to 165 B.C.). Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften.Snell, D. C. (1998). Life in the Ancient Near East, 3100 – 332 BCE. New Haven: Yale University Press.Steele, J. M. (2007a). Celestial Measurement in Babylonian Astronomy. Annals of Science, 64(3), 293-325.Steele, J. M. (2007b). Measuring the Heavens in Mesopotamia. In Lights and Shadows in Cultural Astronomy, edited by Mauro P. Zedda and Juan A. Belamonte, Isili: Associazione Archeofila Sarda, 206-211.Steele, J. M. (2015). Babylonian Observational and Predictive Astronomy. In Handbook of archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy, edited by Clive L. N. Ruggles, New York: Springer, 1855-1862.Swerdlow, N. M. (1998). The Babylonian Theory of the Planets. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Verderame, L. (2015). Astronomy, Divination, and Politics in the Neo-Assyrian Empire. In Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, edited by Clive L. N. Ruggles, New York: Springer, 1847-1853.