Teaching The Astronomical Visualization Used For The Explanation Of The Ancient Ein-Gedi Archaeological Zodiac And Its Related Inscription

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Ariel Cohen

Keywords

Astronomy Teaching, Masoretic and Septuagint Text, Ancient Astronomy, Ancient Astrology

Abstract

In teaching the history of astronomy, mosaics found at ancient synagogues in the Middle East are invaluable. The ancient Zodiac signs forming such mosaics are related to the seasons indicating the fact that the precession of the Earth axis had been neglected or even unknown. We demonstrate that the sage’s derivations of the patriarch’s ages in the chronology of the Septuagint version of the bible correspond to the signs of the zodiac, an assumption supported, for example, by the inscription found in the ruins of the Jewish synagogue in Ein-Gedi. Through our astronomical calculations we solve the sun-moon conjunctions occurring at the beginning of the zodiac signs – at the Vernal Equinox - considering the real sun's orbit. Since the Septuagint version of the bible is assumed to have been translated into Greek in the 3rd century BC from an earlier existing Hebrew source, the fact that the ages of the patriarchs correspond to the observations of the real sun's motion, leads to the conclusion that the Septuagint version is an important book of the history of science. As a result of our findings, the bible can, thus, be regarded as one of the most ancient detailed scientific teaching sources leading to improved astronomical models which determined the planetary orbits.

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