AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 1. HAD I: Special Topics in the History of Astronomy
Special, Sunday, January 5, 2003, 2:00-6:00pm, East Room (Sheraton)

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[1.05] Possible Astronomical Alignments and the Interpretation of the Hierothesion at Nemrud Dagh

E. F. Milone (RAO, University of Calgary), Byron Desnoyers Winmill (University of Toronto)

We have examined for potential astronomical alignments the architectural features of the three terraces of the hierothesion (a sacred place of rest for the gods), constructed by Antiochus I of the ancient Near Eastern kingdom of Commagene, on the summit of Nemrud Dagh in the Anti-Taurus range in the Anatolya region of modern Turkey.

The terrain surrounding the hierothesion has been used to determine the positions of rising and setting astronomical bodies. Our evaluation of these potential astronomical alignments is consistent with an expected construction time frame in the second century B.C..

We compare our conclusions to those of past studies, including that of Roger Beck, who proposed that a new dynastic cult emerged in the Middle East encouraged by the conjunction of the planets with the star Regulus.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: milone@ucalgary.ca

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.