Ancient Evenings

V The Babylonians, the first astronomers

V A look at ancient Chinese astronomy

V Astronomy in Egypt

V The significance of Stonehenge

V New World and Native American astronomy

V The most important early astronomers, the Greeks

One of the great attractions of astronomy is that it so new and yet so old. Astronomy asks many questions that push the envelope of human knowledge. What exactly are black holes? How did the universe begin and how will it end? How old is the universe? At the same time, it is the most ancient of sciences. The Babylonians, who lived in southeastern Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (present-day southern Iraq from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf), are the first people we know of who actively studied the stars and planets. As early as 3000 b.c.e., they seem to have identified constellations and, sometime later, developed a calendar tied to the recurrence of certain astronomical events (they didn't have NCAA basketball tournaments back then to let them know it was springtime).

Astronomy was only one of the Babylonian areas of knowledge basic to civilization. From ancient Babylonia came the first system of writing, cuneiform; the earliest known body of law, the Code of Hammurabi; the potter's wheel; the sailboat; the seed

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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