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1700s, Qing Dynasty

Equatorial Sundial

The rod tip(gnomon) points the Polaris, and the disc is located parallel to the equator. The twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac are engraved on both sides of the disc to mark the hours. The shadow cast by the sun on the top surface indicates the time from the vernal equinox to the autumnal equinox. The shadow cast on the back surface indicates the time from the autumnal equinox to the vernal equinox.

Audio guide

Name Equatorial Sundial
Time/Period 1700s, Qing Dynasty
Country China
Additional information The sundial, the oldest type of timepiece known to exist, was invented in Egypt circa 4000 B.C. The dial reflects the rotation of Earth, our reference for determining the “time” then and now.