BM 76829, a fragment from the mid-section of a small tablet from Sippar in Late Babylonian script, preserves what remains of two new unparalleled pieces from the cuneiform astronomical repertoire relating to the zodiac. The text on the obverse assigns numerical values to sectors assigned to zodiacal signs, while the text on the reverse seems to relate zodiacal signs with specific days or intervals of days. The system used on the obverse also presents a new way of representing the concept of numerical ‘zero’ in cuneiform, and for the first time in cuneiform, a system for dividing the horizon into six arcs in the east and six arcs in the west akin to that used in the Astronomical Book of Enoch. Both the obverse and the reverse may describe the periodical courses of the sun and moon, in a similar way to what is found in astronomical texts from Qumran, thus adding to our knowledge of the scientific relationship between the two cultures.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
For the project “The Great Star List and Related Texts: Astronomy, Mysticism, and Learned Knowledge in the Ancient Near East” funded by the Israel Science Foundation. See also Horowitz (in press).
© 2021, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.