Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

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[photo courtesy of the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeology Project]

At historic Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English colony in the New World, a rare 17th century ivory sundial was found during recent excavations.  You can read about it in Popular Archaeology June-2012

 A small ivory diptych sundial was discovered during the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project dig of soil where a cellar stood as part of the early James Fort.  The pocket dial was crafted by Hans Miler, most probably of Nuremberg, Germany.  You can see a similar Nuremberg Diptych Sundial from Metropolitan Museum of Art made by Hans Troschel the Elder. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/03.21.38

 

 Michael Lavin, Senior Conservator of the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project used a Serle Dialing Ruler made by the North American Sundial Society (NASS) to measure the hour lines of the diptych dial, concluding the dial’s latitude was made for approximately 53 degrees.  Visit http://www.historicjamestowne.org/the_dig/ and view the unearthing of the dial in the video below: