5,500-Year-Old Sumerian Star Map
The Sumerian civilization, which existed in Mesopotamia between the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, was one of the earliest civilizations in human history. Among the many contributions made by the Sumerians to human civilization was the development of astronomy.
One of the most remarkable examples of Sumerian astronomy is the 5,500-year-old Sumerian star map, which was discovered on a clay tablet in the ruins of the city of Nippur in modern-day Iraq. The tablet, which is known as the “Mul.Apin” tablet, contains a detailed description of the movement of celestial bodies and their relationship to each other.
The Sumerian star map includes a representation of the zodiac, which is divided into twelve sections or signs, each named after a specific constellation. The tablet also includes information about the rising and setting of stars, the phases of the moon, and the positions of planets.
The Mul.Apin tablet is not just a map of the stars, but a sophisticated astronomical text that shows the Sumerians’ deep understanding of the cosmos. It is considered to be one of the earliest known examples of scientific astronomy and has provided valuable insights into the development of astronomy in ancient times.
The Sumerian star map was created using a system of geometry and mathematics that allowed the Sumerians to accurately track the movement of celestial bodies. This system was based on the concept of the circle and its division into 360 degrees, which is still used in modern astronomy.
In conclusion, the 5,500-year-old Sumerian star map is a remarkable example of the early development of astronomy and shows the sophisticated scientific knowledge of the Sumerian civilization. It is a testament to the enduring human fascination with the stars and our constant quest to understand the universe around us.