In 1999, a team of archaeologists were digging near a Croatian cave when they discovered a portion of the cave that had been sealed off in what they would later determine was the first century B.C.
Inside, they found (among other artifacts) tiny pieces of ivory that they spent years putting back together in what they now know is an astrologer’s board. In fact, it is currently the oldest-known astrologer’s board on Earth, reports Live Science.
The fragments were put back together and found them to display images of the Zodiac signs Cancer, Gemini and Pisces. An ancient astrologer would have used this ivory board to show the positions of the planets, sun and moon during a person’s birth.
The archaeologists cannot be certain as the board’s origins. Astrology originated with the Babylonians about 2400 years ago, then spread to the eastern Mediterranean about 300 years after that.
Alexander Jones, a professor at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, says at that point it “gets modified very much into what we think of as the Greek style of astrology, which is essentially the modern style of astrology.”
The archaeologists posit that perhaps the board was constructed in Egypt and made its way to Greece via a ship on the Adriatic Sea. The ancient Croatians were called Illyrians and did interact with the nearby Greeks, so it could have been a Greek astrologer who came to the cave to give a prediction. Or perhaps the Illyrians stole or traded for the board.
Interesting. But were there any Ophiuchus signs found?