Babylonian astronomers

Babylonian astronomers

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Caption: Babylonian astronomers. Babylon, located on the Euphrates river in what is now Iraq, was the capital of the Babylonian empire of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. The modern constellations are thought to have originated in Babylonian times, and it was here that some of the earliest forms of astronomy were recorded. Observations were made from the tops of temples, such as that of the comet seen seen here at top left. Some eight comets were noted in records surviving from Babylonian times. This artwork, by French illustrator Leon Benett (1838-1917), is from Astronomical Myths (1877) by the British geologist John Frederick Blake (1839-1906).

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