The aim of this project was to analyse empirical procedures and observational practices in selected natural sciences of the first Millennium BCE in Mesopotamia (astronomy, medicine, flora).


The project set out from the assumption that empirical observation involves a process of selection, evaluation and manipulation by scholars, or communities of scholars. Since observational data as they are found in ancient sources reflect this complex process, their empirical content can be recovered only after significant analysis and interpretation. Empirical knowledge and observation were also central topics of the workshop “Scholars, Priests and Temples – Babylonian and Egyptian Science in Context”, which was organized by research project (D-1-4) Organisation and practice of ancient science..