||Archaeologically recovered materials from Egypt and
Mesopotamia provide the earliest written sources of astronomy and
mathematics known to us today. They reveal that already by the early
second millennium BC advanced mathematical techniques
had been developed to solve both practical and abstract
problems. In the first millennium BC, Babylonian astronomers
used de- velopments of these mathematical methods to calculate
planetary and lunar phenomena such as the dates of the first and
last visibilities of the planets, and eclipses of the sun and moon.
This conference will provide a forum for the presentation
and discussion of recent work on the history of astronomy and
mathematics in the Ancient Near East. In addition to technical discus-
sions of the methods of the ancient science, sessions of
the conference will be devoted to ex- ploring the relationship
between astronomy and celestial divination, the role of astronomy
in es- tablishing absolute chronologies, and the legacy of Ancient
Near Eastern science in neighbouring cultures.
The conference is supported by a grant from the British Academy.