[time-nuts] Pre-industrial timekeeping accuracy RE: Lifetime of glass containers

J. Forster jfor at quik.com
Mon Jun 15 18:04:25 EDT 2009

I'm no expert on ancient timekeeping, but nothing we'd call precision.
Some possibles are:

Water clocks
Sand hour glasses
Sun dials
Time candles

I think Christian Heugens (? sp) invented the pendulum for timekeeping.

Your question is really more of a history of science. I just happen know a
field archeologist



>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com
>> [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On Behalf Of J. Forster
>> Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 2:34 PM
>> To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
>> Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Lifetime of glass containers
>> Interestingly, I recently had dinner with an archeology
>> professor, interested in the Etruscan period. She had just
>> discovered a flatish piece of glass i9n a dig, thousands of
>> years old, and believes it was made essentially like rolling
>> out dough on a slab while red hot.
>> -John
> Returning to a more time-nuts-y topic..
> What sort of time measurement accuracy would folks 2000 years ago have
> had?
> For instance, were they aware of the (relative) constancy of the swings of
> a pendulum of constant length?
> I remember stories from school about Galileo using his pulse as a clock.
> They're probably apocryphal, and I would think that he would have easy
> access to other things that tick once a second or there abouts (dripping
> water, etc, if not swings of a pendulum).
> I'm also familiar with the famous Shakespearean anachronism of the
> striking clock in "Julius Caesar", and the usual commentary says the
> Romans had only sundials and clepsydra.  So how good is a clepsydra?  What
> if we go back a 1000 years?

More information about the time-nuts mailing list