Pleiades, the Bull of Heaven, and the Chariot [stood in it .... ]
Moon position 9
the moon was surrounded by a halo; Pleiades, the Bull of Heaven, and the Chariot [stood in it .... ]
The position of the Moon in 587 BC is a favourite for critics because they rigidly use a much later definition of MULx.MULx to mean η Tauri which is greater than 22° away from the Moon.
Despite the view of critics, VAT4956 predates 267BC by a few centuries. The scribe could well view the modern constellation of Taurus as having several parts. Consider:
"the Stars" and "the Bull of Heaven". These two names are also given together as a pair in the micro-zodiac texts to indicate Taurus (Monroe 2016). Thus, it would seem that either or both the names "the Stars" and "the Bull of Heaven" could refer to Taurus. In the Astronomical Diaries, Taurus is usually referred to as "the Stars" (MÚL-MÚL). However, before 267 BC we find cases of the names "the Bull of Heaven" (GU4-AN) and "the Chariot" (gišGIGIR or GIGIR) where we would expect the name of the sign Taurus.
- John Steele (2018) THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BABYLONIAN ZODIAC: SOME PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS
The original translators accept that just because a constellation is mentioned in can mean that just a part is within the halo (Rearline 15 Note B). It seems that critics are holding to a criteria a few centuries ahead of it's time. Even though the criteria for #9 can be met easily the day before, the clarified understanding above allows it to be met on the day the tablet indicates too.
Position 8 | Position 9 | Position 10
|DILI.BAD||DILI.BAT; nebû: shining, bright, flaring; denoting the brightest star of a constellation
- The Assyrian Dictionary, Volume 11, N Part II (1980) pg 148
|ḫuzālu: gazelle kid; ṣerru: snake, possible name for Hydra constellation; Māšu: twin, Gemini; bīru: goat
Nissan, first month - on VAT4956 there seems to be no distinction between BAR and MAŠ
|šapal: under, beneath, underneath
qablu: hips, middle.
šapālu: to be low, deep ; to reach the lowest point; to stay constantly low; - The Assyrian Dictionary, Š Volume 17, Part I (1989) pg 422-423
|MÁŠ||see rear line 3 note|
|LAL2||šaqālu: to be equal, in balance; planets said to be in opposition or in conjunction
ṣalāmu: cause to become dark, darkened, obscured
|fish, unit; redû: lead bring
emēdu: to touch, lean; side, follow;
|DIŠ||Constantly, always, one, sixty,
|šalāšā: thirty, 30
KUR4 = ba'lu which means either ba'ālu: to be abnormally large, to become bright or shine brightly;
or ba'ūlu: great, important; - The Assyrian Dictionary, Volume 2, B (1965) pg 1, 184
|MULx.MULx can refer to the whole constellation of the Bull, or the Jaw of the Bull or Mars (amongst others). - P. Felix Gössman; Planetarium Babylonicum (1950) pg 109, 23, 110.
In later diaries it generally refers to η Tauri. It can also represent the brightest star in the Bull of Heaven (α Tauri) - P. Felix Gössman; Planetarium Babylonicum (1950) pg 24
|GU4.AN||only refers to "bull of heaven" on VAT4956. Not used on any other astronomical diary|
|GIGIR||narkabtu; chariot, constellation of Auriga|
Rear Line 5 | Rear Line 6 | Rear Line 7