On Falling Stars, Meteors, Bolides… and Meteorites(?) The perception of meteoroids and meteorites in the Ancient Near East
|Datum||donderdag 25 oktober 2012|
Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
|Locatie||Musem voor Oudheden|
Br. Jeanette Fincke, Visiting Research Fellow . In contrast to modern science, in the ancient Near East each celestial change was understood as an ominous sign from the gods to indicate particular future events for the people. Even though, Assyrian and Babylonian astronomers described the trails as well as the various luminous phenomena of meteoroids carefully in the handbook entitled enūma anu enlil. Cuneiform tablets written in the 7th century BC even describe a ritual to be performed when a meteoroid fell to earth and survived the impact; such an event would then be called a meteorite in modern terminology. In this ritual, the meteorite had fallen onto someone’s house, which would then require purification.