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Astronomy, an Ancient Iranian Science


31 May 2004



Astronomy and astrology have been practiced in Iran from the ancient times. Prophet Zoroaster,  observed stars from the openings of the cave where he stayed to contemplate for ten years.

Dr. Behzadi, in her recent book dealing partly with the Iranian ancient astronomy has quoted Abdol Rafi Haghighat that the inner walls of the cave where Zoroaster lived to contemplate for ten years are full of drawings of stars, sun, moon and their movements. The cave later on turned into a prayer spot for Zoroastrians.

Other Zoroastrian spiritual leaders were also experts in astronomy and astrology, taking their knowledge to different regions such as Greece and India and foretelling events such as the sad death of Socrates and the birth of Christ.

Astronomy has been the main topic of many Iranian manuscripts, including three important Zoroastrian books, a Pahlavi booklet, Bisotoon inscription, some Pahlavi pieces found in Tourfan, etc.

Ancient Iranian kings have also paid special attention to astronomy and the engraving of pictures of constellations on the staircase of Apadana Palace, some 2500 years ago by order of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king of kings.



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