The circular clay tablet shown above was discovered 150 years ago at Nineveh the capital of ancient Assyria, in what is now Iraq. The tablet shows drawings of constellations and pictogram-based text known as cuneiform which was used by the Sumerians, the earliest known civilization in the world. For decades scientists have failed to decipher the tablet. In 2008 two scientists, Alan Bond and Mark Hempsell from Bristol University finally cracked the cuneiform code. By using a computer program that can reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago. The two scientists were able to establish the tablet was a night notebook of Sumerian astronomers and refers to the events in the sky before dawn on the 29th of June 3123 BC (Julian calendar).

Interesting Fact: What makes this discovery even more amazing is the tablet also shows a large object travelling along the constellation of Pisces. The symbols show the trajectory of the object to an error of one degree to hit Köfels Austria. Köfels is recognized as the area of the largest rockslide in the crystalline Alps and has given rise to numerous theories about the cause of the rockslide. There is no crater so to modern eyes it doesn’t look as a meteor impact site should look. However from the information gathered from the tablet, the trajectory explains why there is no crater. The in-coming angle was very low (six degrees) so the scientists theorize that the asteroid clipped a near by mountain called Gamskogel and this caused the asteroid to explode before it reached its final impact point.”

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