Divination by Astrological and Meteorological Phenomena

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Detail of Han Silk Ms

The Divination by Astrological and Meteorological Phenomena (Chinese: 天文氣象雜占; pinyin: Tian Wen Qi Xiang Za Zhan), also known as Book of Silk is an ancient astronomy silk manuscript compiled by Chinese astronomers of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC – 9 AD) and found in the Mawangdui tomb of China in 1973. It lists 29 comets (referred to as 彗星, literally broom stars) that appeared over a period of about 300 years.

It is now exhibited in the Hunan Provincial Museum.[1]

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The Divination by Astrological and Meteorological Phenomena contains what archaeologists claim is the first definitive atlas of comets. There are roughly 2 dozen renderings of comets, some in fold out/pop-up format. In some cases the pages of the document roll out to be 5 feet long. Each comet's picture has a caption which describes an event its appearance corresponded to, for example, "the death of the prince," "the coming of the plague," or "the 3 year drought."

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