Astronomical diary, Babylon, mid-4th century B.C.
London, British Museum, inv. BM 46229
This astronomical diary refers to the 12th year of the reign of Artaxerxes III (347/6 B.C.). Diaries like this one indicate, among other things: the length of the preceding month (29 or 30 days); the time between the setting of the Sun and Moon on the first evening of the month; eclipses of the Sun and Moon; the dates of the first and last sighting, of the stationary points and of the opposition of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and of the first and last sightings of Venus and Mercury. They also indicate the level of the Euphrates throughout the month and record major historical events.