An Assyrian star map

The badly damaged Assyrian clay disc below (K 8538) is an interesting relic of ancient astronomy. It was held in the Library of Ashurbanipal, 2600 years ago. Today it is in the British Museum, where I was fortunate enough to see it once. The disc maps the sky as eight 45° sections and has annotations in cuneiform (both names and numbers). In the view shown here, the constellation Orion is superimposed on the disc’s own crude figure (which could also represent the constellation Gemini):

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.