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Transcript of Mesopotamian Astronomy
Astronomy of Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Babylon, and Assyria
Astronomy began with the first settlements of agricultural societies. It is in Sumeria we find the oldest recorded studies of astronomy.
Purposes of Astronomy in Mesopotamia
As in most ancient cultures, astronomy was practiced as astrology.
Babylonian Astronomers kept heaps of records on clay cuneiform tablets
A major Breakthrough of the Babylonians was their invention of the degree system to distinguish positions in the sky
Babylon and Assyria inherited the sumerians astronomical traditions and many of there legends and lore.
Perhaps the greatest legacy of modern astronomy was left to us by the Babylonians. The records they kept give us a glimpse into there view of the heavens.
Astronomical events whether everyday occurrences or rare incidents had a deep religious meaning for some people
Constellations we still use today such as Leo, Taurus, Scorpius, Auriga, Gemini, and Sagittarius, were invented by the Sumerians and Babylonians between 2000-3000 BC
The Babylonians created a zodiac, which marked twelve constellations that the sun, moon, and planets travel between during there movements across the sky
One notable example is the Venus Tablet of King Ammizaduga (right) which demonstrates the scientific methodology used by Babylonian Astronomers
Another Astronomical cunieform tablet was found in the tomb of king ashurbanipal of NInevah. (far right)
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