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H-ASIA
June 29, 2009

WWW Resource: The Dunhuang chinese sky: a comprehensive study of the oldest known star atlas
************************************************************************
From: Reviews of Internet resources for Asian Studies


The Asian Studies WWW Monitor: Jun 2009, Vol. 16, No. 8 (298)
--------------------------------------------------------------
25 Jun 2009

The Dunhuang chinese sky: a comprehensive study of the oldest known
star atlas.

Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 12.1:39-59 (March 2009)

Self-description:
"The Dunhuang chinese sky: a comprehensive study of the oldest known
star atlas.
Jean-Marc Bonnet-Bidaud (1), Francoise Praderie (2), Susan Whitfield
(3),
((1) Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, F, (2) Observatoire de
Paris, F, (3) The British Library, UK)
(Submitted on 16 Jun 2009)

This paper presents an analysis of the star atlas included in the
medieval Chinese manuscript (Or.8210/S.3326), discovered in 1907 by
the archaeologist Aurel Stein at the Silk Road town of Dunhuang and
now held in the British Library. Although partially studied by a few
Chinese scholars, it has never been fully displayed and discussed in
the Western world. This set of sky maps (12 hour angle maps in quasi-
cylindrical projection and a circumpolar map in azimuthal projection),
displaying the full sky visible from the Northern hemisphere, is up to
now the oldest complete preserved star atlas from any civilisation. It
is also the first known pictorial representation of the quasi-totality
of the Chinese constellations. This paper describes the history of the
physical object - a roll of thin paper drawn with ink. We analyse the
stellar content of each map (1339 stars, 257 asterisms) and the texts
associated with the maps. We establish the precision with which the
maps are drawn (1.5 to 4 degrees for the brightest stars) and examine
the type of projections used. We conclude that precise mathematical
methods were used to produce the atlas. We also discuss the dating of
the manuscript and its possible author and confirm the dates 649-684
(early Tang dynasty) as most probable based on available evidence.
This is at variance with a prior estimate around +940. Finally we
present a brief comparison with later sky maps, both in China and in
Europe.

Comments: 19 pages, 5 Tables, 8 Figures. Subjects: Solar and Stellar
Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR). Journal reference: J.Astron.Hist.Herit.
12:39-59,2009."

[The paper, in PDF format, over 2 MB strong can be dowloaded from http://arxiv.org/pdf/0906.3034v1 - ed.]

Site contents:
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. The "Discovery" of the star atlas
2. THE CHINESE CONTEXT
2.1. Chinese astronomical background
2.2. Review of the Chinese sources on S.3326
3. GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF S.3326
3.1. Physical characteristics of the manuscript
3.2. The astronomical content
3.2.1. The star maps
3.2.2. The calendar texts (Jupiter stations)
3.2.3. The culmination texts
3.3. The polar star
4. SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION OF S.3326
4.1. Accuracy and projection study
1.2. Analysis of the culmination texts : an attempt at dating
2. STATUS OF S.3326
2.1. Dating the document
2.2. A comparison with other sources
2.3. Purpose of S.3326
3. CONCLUSION
4. APPENDIX
7.1 The Orion stellar region (map 5)
7.2 The circumpolar map (map 13)
5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
6. NOTES
9. REFERENCES
11. TABLES
12. FIGURES

URL http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.3034v1

Internet Archive (web.archive.org) [the paper was not archived at the
time of this abstract]

Link reported by: Moo-Young Han (myhan--at--phy.duke.edu)

* Resource type [news - documents - study - corporate info. - online
guide]:
Study
* Publisher [academic - business - govt. - library/museum - NGO -
other]:
Academic
* Scholarly usefulness [essential - v.useful - useful - interesting -
marginal]:
V.Useful
* External links to the resource [over 3,000 - under 3,000 - under 1,000
- under 300 - under 100 - under 30]: under 30
--------------------------------------------------------------
Src: The Asian Studies WWW Monitor ISSN 1329-9778
URL http://coombs.anu.edu.au/asia-www-monitor.html
URL http://mailman.anu.edu.au/mailman/l...sia-www-monitor
The e-journal [est. 21 Apr 1994] provides free abstracts
and reviews of new/updated online resources of significance to
research, teaching and communications dealing with the Asian Studies.
The email edition of this Journal has now over 8,260 subscribers.
The AS WWW Monitor does not necessarily endorse contents,
or policies of the Internet resources it abstracts.

- regards -

Dr T. Matthew Ciolek matthew.ciolek--at--anu.edu.au
Head, Internet Publications Bureau, RSPAS,
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific,
The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
ph +61 (02) 6125 3124 fax: +61 (02) 62571893
also, Asia Pacific Research Online at www.ciolek.com

[You may freely forward this information, but on condition that you
send the text as an integral whole along with complete information
about its author, date, and source.]
*****************************************************************
H-ASIA publishes selected posts from the Asian Studies
Monitor as a service to its members, thereby giving wider
distribution to the material of this valuable resource.
H-ASIA's editors do not produce the posts, nor do they
participate in the ASM editorial evaluations which are
offered by the ASM founder and editor, T. Matthew Ciolek.
Questions regarding details of these ASM posts should be
directed to Dr. Ciolek.

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新帖子 06-29-2009 09:16 PM
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很高兴,终于看到文史工作者也开始采用开放获取的形式发表论文了!
希望有越来越多的人这样做,并逐步扩展到专著。
当然,现有的arxiv不够用,希望有文史界的大佬出面,可以直接采用arxiv的系统构架,再建一个文史类的arxiv。
相信,到那一天,必然导致文史研究的革命性进步。

新帖子 06-30-2009 12:37 AM
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