The zodiac originated from Babylonian astronomy during the first half of the first millennium BCE, approximately around the 7th century BCE. So the zodiac, in various forms, has been used for about 2,712 years. The zodiac is actually a modification of MUL.APIN, a catalogue of the constellations in ancient astronomy and astrology. MUL.APIN was created around 1000 BCE and some of the constellations in the zodiac are even older, being sourced in the Bronze Age (about 3000-500 BCE). There are twelve signs because there are twelve celestial zones based on the ancient coordinate system. Greek astronomy adopted the Babylonian stars in the 4th century BCE. The Hindu zodiac is a little different, using the same stars obviously, but a different coordinate system called sidereal. The signs have similar names, suggesting an interchange of cultural influences at some point in time. The zodiac was carried into the High Middle Ages and Renaissance.
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