The signs of the zodiac were created in ancient times by the early cultures of Mesopotamia as a tool of celestial navigation. Each sign corresponds to a constellation that is usually represented by an animal. These pictures in the sky established directional orientation before the invention of the compass.
The Babylonians are often credited with creating astrology, a system of divination based on the 12 signs of the zodiac and their positions relative to the sun, moon and planets. This knowledge was passed along to the ancient Greeks and subsequently to the Romans, where it had a pervasive influence on science, art and culture.