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HUM 5 - Ancient Egypt: Astronomy


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Inlaid brass astrolabe from Cairo — Image Courtesy of Britannica ImageQuest

Inlaid brass astrolabe from Cairo, an instrument for observing and computing time direction and position. It could be used for navigation astronomy and astrology. Country of Origin: Egypt. Culture: Islamic. Date/Period: 1236 AD. Place of Origin: Cairo. Material Size: Brass. Credit Line: Werner Forman Archive/ British Museum, London . Location: 02.

Ptolemy's observatory, 2nd century AD — Image Courtesy of Britannica ImageQuest

Ptolemy's observatory in Alexandria, ancient Egypt. Colored historical artwork of Claudius Ptolemy (AD c100-170), an Egyptian or Greek astronomer, geographer and mathematician, surrounded by astronomical equipment.

Astronomical Ceiling (ca. 1479–1458 B.C.)

"The ancient Egyptians were dedicated astronomers, as illustrated by this schematic guide to the night sky that decorated a ceiling in the tomb of Senenmut (TT 353) at Deir el-Bahri. The figures represent constellations or protective deities, and the columns of text in the upper part list planets and stars known as the decans. The twelve circles in the lower part, each divided into twenty-four segments for the hours of the day and night, are labelled with the names of the months of the year."