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Artifacts > Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa

Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa

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Venus tablet of AmmisaduqaVenus Tablet of Ammisaduqa.jpgMaterialClaySizeLength: 17.14 cm (6.75 in)Width: 9.2 cm (3.6 in)Thickness: 2.22 cm (0.87 in)Writingcuneiform,Period/cultureNeo-AssyrianPlaceKouyunjikPresent locationRoom 55, British Museum, LondonRegistrationK.160The Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa (Enuma Anu Enlil Tablet 63) refers to the record of astronomical observations of Venus, as preserved in numerous cuneiform tablets dating from the first millennium B.C. It is believed that this astronomical record was first compiled during the reign of King Ammisaduqa (or Ammizaduga), the fourth ruler after Hammurabi. Thus, the origins of this text should probably be dated to around the mid-seventeenth century B.C.[1] (according to the Middle Chronology).The tablet recorded the rise times of Venus and its first and last visibility on the horizon before or after sunrise and sunset (the heliacal risings and settings of Venus) in the form of lunar dates. These observations are recorded for a period of 21 years.[2]Contents [hide] 1The sources2Interpretation3Observations4See also5Notes6Further reading7External linksThe sources[edit]This Venus tablet is part of Enuma anu enlil ("In the days of Anu and Enlil"), a long text dealing with Babylonian astrology, which mostly consists of omens interpreting celestial phenomena.The earliest copy of this tablet to be published, a 7th-century BC cuneiform, part of the British Museum collections, was recovered from the library at Nineveh. It was first published in 1870 by Henry Creswicke Rawlinson and George Smith as Enuma Anu Enlil Tablet 63, in "Tablet of Movements of the Planet Venus and their Influences" (The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, volume III).As many as 20 copies of this text are currently on record, many of them fragmentary, falling into 6 groups.[3] The oldest of these copies is believed to be Source "B", found at Kish in 1924. It was copied from a tablet written at Babylon while Sargon II was King of Assyria between 720 and 704 BCE.[4]Interpretation[edit]Several dates for the original observations, as contained in the tablet, were proposed early in the 20th century. The following dates, corresponding to the High, Middle, Low and Ultra-Low Chronologies, were inferred for the beginning of the Venus observations: 1702 BC, 1646 BC, 1582 BC, 1550 BC, respectively.The tablet's significance for corroborating Babylonian chronology was first recognised by Franz Xaver Kugler in 1912, when he could identify the enigmatic "Year of the Golden Throne" ("Venus" tablet K.160) with the 8th year of the reign of Ammisaduqa. Since then, this 7th-century BC copy has been variously interpreted to support several chronologies in the 2nd millennium BC.Many uncertainties remain about the interpretation of the record of astronomical observations of Venus, as preserved in these surviving tablets.[5] Some copying corruptions are probable. Problems of atmospheric refraction were addressed by Vahe Gurzadyan in a 2003 publication.[6]Observations[edit]Year 1 inferior Venus sets on Shabatu 15 and after 3 days rises on Shabatu 18Year 2 superior Venus vanishes E on Arahsamnu 21 and after 1 month 25 days appears W on Tebetu 16Year 3 inferior Venus sets on Ululu 29 and after 16 days rises on Tashritu 15Year 4 superior Venus vanishes E on Dumuzi 3 and after 2 months 6 days appears W on Ululu 9Year 5 inferior Venus sets on Nisan 29 and after 12 days rises on Ayar 11Year 5 superior Venus vanishes E on Kislimu 27 and after 2 months 3 days appears W on Shabatu 30Year 6 inferior Venus sets on Arahsamnu 28 and after 3 days rises on Kislimu 1Year 7 superior Venus vanishes E on Abu 30 and after 2 months appears W on Tashritu 30Year 8 inferior Venus sets on Dumuzi 9 and after 17 days rises on Dumuzi 26Year 8 superior Venus vanishes E on Adar 27 and after 2 months 16 days appears W on Simanu 13Year 9 inferior Venus sets on Adar 12 and after 2 days rises on Adar 14Year 10 superior Venus vanishes E on Arahsamnu 17 and after 1 month 25 days appears W on Tebetu 12Year 11 inferior Venus sets on Ululu 25 and after 16 days rises on II Ululu 11Year 12 superior Venus vanishes E on Ayar 29 and after 2 months 6 days appears W on Abu 5Year 13 inferior Venus sets on Nisan 25 and after 12 days rises on Ayar 7Year 13 superior Venus vanishes E on Tebetu 23 and after 2 months 3 days appears W on Adar 26Year 14 inferior Venus sets on Arahsamnu 24 and after 3 days rises on Arahsamnu 27Year 15 superior Venus vanishes E on Abu 26 and after 2 months appears W on Tashritu 26Year 16 inferior Venus sets on Dumuzi 5 and after 16 days rises on Dumuzi 21Year 16 superior Venus vanishes E on Adar 24 and after 2 months 15 days appears W on Simanu 9Year 17 inferior Venus sets on Adar 8 and after 3 days rises on Adar 11Year 18 superior Venus vanishes E on Arahsamnu 13 and after 1 month 25 days appears W on Tebetu 8Year 19 inferior Venus sets on II Ululu 20 and after 17 days rises on Tashritu 8Year 20 superior Venus vanishes E on Simanu 25 and after 2 months 6 days appears W on Ululu 1Year 21 inferior Venus sets on Nisan 22 and after 11 days rises on Ayar 3Year 21 superior Venus vanishes E on Tebetu 19 and after 2 months 3 days appears W on Adar 22See also[edit]Ancient Near East portalAstronomy portalChronology of the ancient Near EastShort chronology timelineBabylonian astronomyNotes[edit]Jump up ^ Russell Hobson, THE EXACT TRANSMISSION OF TEXTS IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM B.C., Published PhD Thesis. Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies. University of Sydney. 2009 PDF FileJump up ^ John David North, Cosmos: an illustrated history of astronomy and cosmology., University of Chicago Press, 2008. p. 41. ISBN 0-226-59441-6Jump up ^ Erica Reiner, David Edwin Pingree, Babylonian planetary omens, Volume 3. (Volume 2 of Bibliotheca Mesopotamica Babylonian Planetary Omens). p. 1. BRILL, 1998. ISBN 90-5693-011-7Jump up ^ Hermann Hunger, David Edwin Pingree, Astral sciences in Mesopotamia, Part 1, Volume 44, p. 32. BRILL, 1999 ISBN 90-04-10127-6Jump up ^ "We then discuss why the 56/64 year Venus cycle cannot be traced in the Venus Tablet and therefore cannot serve as an anchor for the search of chronologies." Gurzadyan, V.G. 2000. "On the Astronomical Records and Babylonian Chronology", Akkadica, vol.119-120, pp.175-184.Jump up ^ V.G. Gurzadyan, "The Venus Tablet and refraction." Akkadica 124 (2003), pp 13-17, with bibliography.Further reading[edit]Huber, Peter J.; Sachs, Abraham (1982), Astronomical dating of Babylon I and Ur III, Undena Publications, ISBN 978-0-89003-045-5Reiner, Erica and David Pingree 1975. Babylonian Planetary Omens. Part 1. The Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa, (Malibu: Getty). The "fundamental edition", superseding Langdon et al. 1928 (Walker 1984). ISBN 0-89003-010-3Walker, C.B.F. 1984. "Notes on the Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa", Journal of Cuneiform Studies 36.1 pp. 64–66.Gurzadyan, V.G. 2000. "On the Astronomical Records and Babylonian Chronology", Akkadica, vol.119-120, p. 175.External links[edit]Roaf, M. "Cuneiform tablet with observations of Venus". British Museum. Retrieved 2010-05-18.Bibliography, in context of Mesopotamian astronomy

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