Contributed Talk - Splinter Culture

Tuesday, 14 September 2021, 09:05   (virtual Cult)

The Babylonian constellation of APIN

Susanne M Hoffmann, Wayne Horowitz
Michael Stifel Center for Data Driven Science of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, HU Jerusalem

The Babylonian constellation MUL.APIN = epinnu, 'The Plough,' is usually identified with the faint stars of the Greek constellation of Triangulum. This identification is not convincing for a number of reasons including the fact that 'The Plough' asterism is the first in the MUL.APIN catalogue and therefore should be a significant anchor for the rest of the sequence. Additionally, several star lists refer to the heliacal rising of the 'The Plough'. This indicates both, that the asterism should be bright enough to be visible in twilight and that stars which are said to rise and set simultanously with 'The Plough' do not seem to fit the case of stars of Triangulum. Our paper will therefore propose another identification: MUL.APIN = the five bright stars of Cassiopeia plus some fainter ones in the adjacent area.