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Library of Ashurbanipal

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    K.8538

  • Title (series)

    • Library of Ashurbanipal
  • Description

    Fragment of a circular clay tablet with depictions of constellations (planisphere). Neo-Assyrian. The reverse is uninscribed. Section of a sphere or instrument for astrological calculations. The flat side is inscribed with mathematical figures and descrip

  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 14.1 centimetres (maximum)
    • Thickness: 3.2 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Language

        Babylonian
  • Curator's comments

    For comment on the interpretation of the text and identification of the constellations see Koch 1989. Celestial planisphere; in this stylised map the sky has been divided into eight sections. It represents the night sky of 3-4 January 650 BC over Nineveh. The rectangular shape at the top has been identified as the constellation known today as Gemini and the stars contained with an oval shape are the Pleiades. The two triangles in the lower right mark the bright stars of Pegasus.

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  • Bibliography

    • Bezold 1893a bibliographic details
    • Lippincott 1999 p.40, cat.029 bibliographic details
    • CDLI P397674 (http://cdli.ucla.edu/P397674) bibliographic details
    • King, CT 33 pl. 10 (copy) bibliographic details
    • Koch 1989 pp. 56-113 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G55/dc8

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2009-2010 Oct 25-Jan 24, Germany, Oldenburg, Landesmuseum fur Natur und Mensch, 'Ex Oriente Lux?'
    2009 March 12-August 30, Italy, Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, 'Galileo: Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope'
    1999 1 Dec-2000 24 Sep, London, The Queen’s House, The Story of Time

  • Condition

    Heavily restored with plaster.

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number

    K.8538

Part of a circular clay tablet with depictions of constellations (planisphere), Neo-Assyrian. The reverse is uninscribed.

Obverse

Part of a circular clay tablet with depictions of constellations (planisphere), Neo-Assyrian. The reverse is uninscribed.

Image description

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Object reference number: WCT11867

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