Edmund Halley, he of the comet fame, suggested this was due to changes in the Earths/Moons rotation properties. Has relatively recent movement of the Earth’s continents moved the locations of ancient cities?
Edmund Halley (1695, p. 174), as part of a discussion of the identity and location of ancient cities relative to the geography of his time, explained discrepancies in recorded latitudes as a “change in the axis of the Earth” and longitudes (based on lunar positions) as evidence that “the Moon’s motion does accelerate”.
The latitude discrepancies were probably errors, and the longitude discrepancies are more correctly interpreted as an equivalent deceleration of Earth spin rate, but Halley clearly did raise
the possibility that Earth – Sun – Moon relationships need not be fixed as had formerly been supposed.
Stromatolites and Earth – Sun – Moon Dynamics (page 123) | direct link to PDF
Could relatively rapid expansion of the Earth or local growth, explain the difference in some old cities longitude and latitude? Ptolemy and Keplar did not record the wrong data for where these cities were located, the longitudes and latitudes were correct for their time?
The physical co-ordinates have actually moved as the planets crust and continents have grown or expanded?
[Edmund Halley] then turned to the geography of the region identifying Aleppo, Andrene and Efree with the ancient cities of Berrhaea, Androna and Seriane respectively and stating that Ptolemy and more recently Kepler in the Rudolphine Tables (followed by Bullialdus and others) gave incorrect latitudes and longitudes for these cities.
Ancient Astronomical Observations and the Study of the Moon’s Motion (1691-1757)