BM 76829: A small astronomical fragment with important implications for the Late Babylonian Astronomy and the Astronomical Book of Enoch

Jeanette C. Fincke*, Wayne Horowitz, Eshbal Ratzon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)349-368
Number of pages20
JournalArchive for History of Exact Sciences
Volume75
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'BM 76829: A small astronomical fragment with important implications for the Late Babylonian Astronomy and the Astronomical Book of Enoch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this