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Keepers of Time: Ancient Egyptian Sundials and Water Clocks
April 14, 2022 @ 5:00 pm EDT Eastern Time
605 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23187 United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: Williamsburg
Lecturer: Sarah Symons
Ancient Egypt has left behind a rich material culture which includes instruments and instructions for timekeeping. Three distinct types of sundial and one type of water clock are first seen in Egypt. Remarkably, an instruction manual for making a sundial and a description of the invention of a new type of water clock have also been found, showing us a tantalizing glimpse of a body of ‘scientific’ literature around 1400 BCE that has now mostly been lost. We will also see how the discoveries of Egyptian sundials and water clocks over the last two centuries have changed our understanding of timekeeping in the ancient world.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Miller, K.J. and Symons, S.L. eds., 2019. Down to the Hour: Short Time in the Ancient Mediterranean. Time, Astronomy, and Calendars. [online] Leiden: Brill. Available at: <https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004416291>.