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Evidence for a new interpretation of the Berlin Celestial Globe fragment SK1050A

Kuehne, Ulrich J. (2011) Evidence for a new interpretation of the Berlin Celestial Globe fragment SK1050A. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Since Thiele (1898) the fragment SK1050A in the Neue Museum in Berlin has been interpreted as being part of an ancient vessel garnished with arbitrary astronomical ornaments. In this paper evidence is collected that the fragment was in fact part of a sophisticated astronomical instrument:

(1) Structures of the fragment indicate that the celestial globe was fitted with a water-clock similar to the design by Ctesibius and that this water-clock propelled an astronomical model of the universe.

(2) Iconographic parallels between SK1050A and the Atlas Farnese suggest that the latter was intended to be a replica of the Berlin celestial globe.

(3) The arrangement of the ‘star-markings’ on SK1050A might be explained as geometrical constructions to establish spherical coordinate transformations.

In consequence, SK1050A appears to be the product of a profound astronomer while some evidence beyond that prompts the hypothesis that the fragment is from the celestial globe of Archimedes.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kuehne, Ulrich J.ulrich.kuehne.1987@balliol.org
Additional Information: Version 1.0
Keywords: History of Astronomy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Ulrich J. Kuehne
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2011 14:21
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 14:21
Item ID: 8814
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8814

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