Chaldeans was the first astronomer of the World. Despite not having optical instruments, they were surprisingly successful.

What we currently know about astronomy is the accumulated and perfected knowledge of what they had started thousands of years ago who, in addition to marveling at what they observed in the sky, tried to understand the functioning of the stars.

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Chaldea is the name by which the region located in the middle Mesopotamia was known in ancient times. Credit: blog “artehistoria.com”

The Chaldean, Mayan, Greek and Egyptian sages observed with indefatigable patience the rising and setting of the stars, as well as their color and brightness variations, trying to understand the movements of the stars.

Despite not having optical instruments, they were surprisingly successful.

Chaldean Astronomy

 The Chaldeans were famous for their knowledge of Astronomy.

We must not forget that what we currently know about astronomy is the accumulated and perfected knowledge of what began thousands of years ago who, in addition to marveling at what they observed in the sky, tried to understand the functioning of the stars. This is the case with the Chaldean sages of Babylon.

The Chaldeans constituted an aristocracy, superior to the other peoples of the area and were famous for their knowledge of astrology and mathematics.

In their schools the accumulated science was taught since the time of the Sumerians, three thousand years ago.

The Chaldeans were a Semitic tribe that settled in Mesopotamia, at the southern end of the Euphrates and Tigris basins, in an area of ​​present-day Iraq, around 1000 B.C.

The main city of the Chaldeans was Babylon.

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The Chaldean priests were great astronomers Credit: web “enciclopedia.us.es

The wise Chaldean priests observed the rising and setting of the stars, as well as their color and variations in brightness.

They observed the movement of the stars with indefatigable patience with the firm intention of understanding the movements of the stars.

Mesopotamia

They began by making large accumulations of facts. They assumed that the courses of the stars and natural events were regular and therefore predictable.

Despite not having optical instruments, they were surprisingly successful, to the point that the word “Chaldean” became synonymous with “astronomer” and “fortune teller”.

Its great prestige was also based on the prediction of meteorological changes, the appearance of comets, the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon.

They classified the star formations into constellations, twelve of which made up what they called the zodiac. They decided that there were twelve celestial lords, advisers of the gods, each of whom presided over a sign of the zodiac for a month.

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The Chaldeans were genuine scientists. Credit: wikipedia

Chaldean astronomers developed a lunar calendar, made up of 28-day lunar months. To maintain consistency with the solar year, they established cycles in which some years had 12 months and others 13.

The oldest observatory that we have news of is that of the tower or ziggurat of Babylon in which the Chaldean astronomers made their main observations.

To Chaldeans is due the use of angular measurement and the special 360º system with sexagesimal fractions, a system of remarkable convenience which we still use to express divisions of degrees and hours.

Ziggurat
Ziggurat was a temple in ancient Mesopotamia that was shaped like a pyramid.  Credit: Wikipedia

The Chaldeans laid the foundations for astronomy and many of their writings are now preserved in the British Museum.

There are researchers who see in some parts of the Bible, mainly in the first chapters of Genesis, a summary of the content of Babylonian texts.

British Museum
A part of the fascinating history of the Assyrians is preserved in the British Museum in London. Credit: web “historiaybografias.com”