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Thread: The Sumerians (Mesopotamians) were the 1st to record astronomy

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb The Sumerians (Mesopotamians) were the 1st to record astronomy

    The ancient Mesopotamians - the Sumerians - were the first to keep astronomical records. Let's discuss what they recorded and when. Did their ziggurats double as their observation towers? Were they the first to record the 4 seasons? Was their first Zodiac 4 constellations? What was their connections of astrology and astronomy all about? What remnants of Babylonian astronomy is in use today? We need strong evidence with resources/links. (I'll be contributing to this as I collect the data with sources.)

  2. #2
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    The connection between astrology and astronomy is clear, no?

    Seasonal terrestrial phenomena were observed to be correlated with celestial events, then the connections were extrapolated.

  3. #3
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    The seven day week was first recorded as being instituted in the Sumerian city of Ur and other Sumerian cities after Sumer was conquered by Sargon I, King of Akkad. There seems to be a resonance with the phases of the moon from the new moon, as in 1st quarter, full, last quarter, and back once again to a new moon, roughly 7 days each.

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    Naturally, there are four "special" days in a year, the two equinoxes and the two solstices, created by the tilt of our rotational axis.
    It would make sense that the year gets split up into four parts depending on the dates of these happenstances.
    Otherwise, a bit more complicated, one could use the three "special" points (one counts twice) on the analemma to divide the year into four parts.
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  5. #5
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    IN Thailand (culture derived from India and not Mesopotamia) the seasons are traditionally three (summer season, rainy season, and cool season), not four (this is for meteorology, I don't know how its reflected in solar astronomy: solstices, equinoxes etc.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Buddha
    Last edited by Barabino; 2014-Sep-05 at 06:56 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Watson View Post
    The ancient Mesopotamians - the Sumerians - were the first to keep astronomical records. Let's discuss what they recorded and when. Did their ziggurats double as their observation towers? Were they the first to record the 4 seasons? Was their first Zodiac 4 constellations? What was their connections of astrology and astronomy all about? What remnants of Babylonian astronomy is in use today? We need strong evidence with resources/links. (I'll be contributing to this as I collect the data with sources.)
    Neither....There has been an archaeological find that predates the Babylonians by 2000 years and was found at observatory in Metsamor, Armenia.

    The Armenian Zodiac:

    While it is traditionally claimed that the earliest reference to the zodiac originates with the Babylonians, the discovery of an observatory in Metsamor, Armenia, predating the Babylonian kingdom by almost 2,000 years has changed our perception of events as the observatory at Metsamor apparently contains the first recorded example of dividing the year into 12 sections. Using an early form of geometry, the inhabitants of Metsamor were able to create both a calendar and envision the curve of the earth. (13)

    The discovery of the astronomical 'observatory' at Metsamor and the presence of engravings which have been speculatively called 'zodiac creatures' has given credence to the assertion that the ancient figures of the constellations were probably created by ancient peoples living in the Euphrates valley and near Mount Ararat in eastern Anatolia and Armenia: Rick Ney, the author of 'Karahundj, The Armenian Stonehenge', says of it:

    "Parsamian's discovery at Metsamor, and the stones at Sissian give concrete credence to Maunder's and Olkott's theories, especially when coupled with ca. 4,0003,000 BC stone carvings of zodiac figures on rocks on the Geghama Mountain Range in Armenia." (15).
    http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/zodiac.htm

    Where did you get 4 Constellations in the Zodiac?

  7. #7
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    Traveler,

    Haven't most of this been discredited as being both too open for interpretation and wishful thinking on the part of the Eastern Europeans?

    Because one, they sure as hell didn't go anywhere with it.

    I'm willing to be educated on the matter though.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Traveler,

    Haven't most of this been discredited as being both too open for interpretation and wishful thinking on the part of the Eastern Europeans?

    Because one, they sure as hell didn't go anywhere with it.

    I'm willing to be educated on the matter though.

    Haven't most of this been discredited as being both too open for interpretation and wishful thinking on the part of the Eastern Europeans?
    Maybe a little late to the party on this one but yeah I think so, absolutely.

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