observation said that:
"About the twelfth of this month Venus was
two fingers above
Most Babylonian observations were made in cubits, a cubit being some 2½º, with a margin of error of about
half a degree. Two fingers is only about one fifth of a degree
and is therefore quite a precise measurement.
Such close conjunctions between planets and stars are rare. This
one is mentioned on both the tablets and is shown in Fig 1. (A calendar is given at
the end of this article comparing Seleucid dates with the Julian ones with which we are
more familiar). We checked how often Venus passed within a similar distance of this star
in the twenty years between 170 BCE and 150 BCE. The answer was 3 times.
|Another, referring to
the same day also says the following:
".......... Whereas, towards morning, Mars
was above a Virginis"
A similar check showed that Mars neared this star only 11 times in the same twenty years.
Significantly, the coincidence of Venus above g Capricornis
and Mars above a Virginis was a unique event during those
Stephenson and his team made similar checks. They
didnt just look at 20 years. They covered 400 years, starting from the time that the
Babylonians began using the star names written on the tablets and finishing at year 40 of
the present era; we have no more Babylonian diaries after that date.