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Questions tagged [time-keeping]

Time-keeping is for all methods to measure time. For example, questions about the hourglass, the sundial, and atomic clocks all fit into "Time-keeping"

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9
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2answers
861 views

What does BPE/PE in some archaeology journals stand for?

Apparently, this is an acronym for reckoning time period instead of using the usual BC-AD or BCE-CE. The journal I am referring to is archeo sciences. Here's a snippet of the article: I've looked ...
23
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10answers
1k views

What was the Julian Calendar aligned to?

I understand that the Julian Calendar was introduced to align the length of the calendar to the tropical year, i.e. make the average year 365.25 days long. However, what I'm still trying to figure out ...
1
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1answer
179 views

What is the most common calendar for pre-Julian dates?

When I read some date of event that happened before introduction of Julian calendar by Caesar, what calendar that date is more likely to refer? Proleptic Julian calendar or proleptic Gregorian ...
5
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2answers
397 views

When did humans start numbering years?

When did humans start to keep track of years with unique identifiers for each year? I assume that the realization that seasons were cyclic came first, and that at some point we decided to call each ...
17
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5answers
12k views

What is the origin of Indian weekday names?

The days of the week in several Indian languages are named after the same planets/gods as the Graeco-Roman days of the week. Did these arise from some common source predating both (PIE?), or was the ...
19
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2answers
11k views

Why is Spain's base timezone UTC+1?

Looking at the time zone map on Wikipedia we can see that countries such as France and Spain technically should have a time zone of UTC+0. Wikipedia says: France previously used GMT, but was ...
23
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2answers
3k views

How old is the day of 24 equal hours?

According to Wikipedia, concepts superficially similar to the modern system of hours have been around since at least ancient Egypt c. 2800 BC. But their system divided "daytime" (after dawn and ...
30
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12answers
9k views

Why of all units is Time standard?

I'm an American science student, and as such have to constantly fight with the metric and English unit systems. One thing that a couple other students and I were wondering is why, of all the different ...
2
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1answer
96 views

What time zone was used in Sikkim before it became a state of India in 1975?

UTC+5:30 is now used in the whole India including Sikkim. What time zone was used before 1975? According to the geographical location of Sikkim I guess UTC+6 might be used there. I searched online but ...
0
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1answer
157 views

How did people wake up early before clocks? [duplicate]

Is there any historical evidence of methods that people used to wake up early before widespread use of mechanical alarm clocks? Or is the concept of 'getting up early' an invention of the industrial ...
5
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1answer
146 views

How would ancient Sumerian astronomers predict length of the next lunar month?

I know we can do these predictions with extreme degree of precision now, using our extensive knowledge of celestial orbiting patterns and principles. With Sumerian civilization being one of the ...
16
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6answers
1k views

How did people wake up on time before alarm clocks?

How did people wake up on time before alarm clocks? I was thinking about this as I lay me down to sleep last night, and came up with a null hypothesis: They didn't. Keeping precise time wasn't ...
36
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3answers
8k views

How did the ancient Greeks synchronize time?

How the time synchronization was achieved in ancient Greece? The context of this question is about Eratosthenes and his calculation of the size of the Earth based on Sun casting shadows with different ...
25
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1answer
4k views

Why does Edinburgh Castle's one o'clock gun fire at 1pm instead of, say, noon?

Curious to know if there is a specific reason they fire it at 1pm. Noon would make more sense to me!
9
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2answers
2k views

When did the current 7-day week cycle begin?

Today it's Sunday. 7 days ago it was Sunday. 7000 days ago it was Sunday. But what about 70,000 days ago, 700,000 days ago, and 7 million days ago? Our current 7-day week cycle has not continued ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Who first precisely measured the length of the year?

In the past people measured the length of a year according to the moon's 28-day cycle but this obviously left a few days out, so I was wondering which civilization first realized this and fixed the ...
-2
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1answer
301 views

When did the current 24-hour day cycle begin? [closed]

Right now the clock just struck 1PM in England. If I went exactly 1000 hours back in time, I don't know exactly what time it would be in England, but it would be the top of the hour regardless. But ...
1
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1answer
317 views

What Time of Day Was Hitler's Opening Speech of the 1936 Summer Olympics?

In the movie Contact, aliens from the Vega system contact humans by retransmitting Hitler's August 1st opening speech of the 1936 Summer Olympics, popularly held to be the first radio transmission to ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What is the earliest written date?

What is the earliest written date found? When I say "date" I primarily mean a date in the Gregorian calendar (perhaps the calendar-year is most interesting). It could also be interesting to know ...
3
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2answers
200 views

What is the history of time tracking?

Why did human decide to take track of time? how did human find out about time first? and when and how did they felt some thing called time? there are some guesses but I want to know if there is any ...
12
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6answers
4k views

How was the current month and day disseminated to the townspeople of Medieval Europe?

How was the current month and day disseminated to the townspeople of the Medieval Europe? I'm quite sure that personal calendars weren't a thing back then... but I could be wrong... If they had a ...
-3
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3answers
344 views

Which astronomical events have been the most important in dating historical events? [closed]

Astronomical events are used to help date historical events. (Wikipedia - Astronomical chronology) Which are the most important for this? For example, Josephus recorded a lunar eclipse that occurred ...
1
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1answer
173 views

How did they number the months when the year started on March 25th?

I've read that Great Britain and its colonies used March 25th as the beginning of the numbered year until 1752. I am wondering what this meant in terms of numbering the months (e.g. January is 1 and ...
0
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2answers
163 views

Was respiratory rate used as time measurement?

There is a Jewish source that an hour was split into 1080 parts and there seems to be an explanation for that number that it is the amount of breaths taken in an hour (18 breaths per minute (which is ...
2
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1answer
128 views

How were/are days subdivided in non-Gregorian calendars?

In the Gregorian calendar, a day is subdivided into 24 hours, which each contain 60 minutes, which each contain 60 seconds. Internationally, a derived version of this calendar called UTC is used ...
4
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1answer
1k views

When modern time measurement first appeared and who invented it?

My son asked me, how people knew that an hour is an hour before they invented the clock. Reading through History of timekeeping devices on Wikipedia and also Hour it became apparent to me, that there ...
10
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1answer
453 views

Where was the dateline before the concept of the International Dateline?

Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, had a lifelong obsession with a paradox involving time zones. His 1850 article "A Hemispherical Problem" describes it well: Half of the world, or ...
10
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2answers
2k views

When were the first timezones established?

I understand that the world never used the same universal time everywhere, and that before timezones people used sundials and other solar time-keeping technologies, therefore every few 100 meters ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why does clock time start in the middle of the night?

Loosely related: Why of all units is Time standard? It's pretty obvious why 0:00/12:00am is called "midnight". What is the history behind setting the 0 time in the middle of the night as opposed any ...
23
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2answers
1k views

in what form did William the Conqueror write the date of his own coronation?

This is a question about the English legal calendar as viewed by people living at the time, not as historians recorded it later. New year shifts to 1-January To the best of my understanding, the ...
3
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1answer
308 views

How did ancient Dravidians tell the time?

Before the invention of clocks people used devices such as sundials, sandclock etc to know the time. Wikipedia gives you the measurements once used by south Indians (time,area, weight). My doubt is ...
6
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1answer
290 views

What time was it in Dawson Creek, BC at 1900-01-01 00:00:00 +0000?

I tried to Google this but I couldn't find a definitive answer. Dawson Creek has its own timezone. My timezone database tells me that on 14-Apr-1918 @ 10:00am UTC its timezone became PDT (and then ...
2
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1answer
1k views

When did the Arabic numerals appear on clock faces?

Were the Arabic numerals used in pre-modern times on mechanical clock faces? Is there a specific point in time when they started to replace Roman numerals? Edit: Wikipedia article for Clock face ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Are there documented shifts in how history, time, and accuracy were regarded in society? [closed]

I recall an interview where Reza Aslan described that History, in its present form, didn't always exist that way. That is the rigor, validation, and peer review wasn't present. Instead, it was a ...
16
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1answer
797 views

What was the motivation for the Gregorian Calendar?

The Gregorian Calendar eventually replaced the Roman calendar at some point, I know this was something to do with the days not being quite accurate so specific days (I think equinox and solstice) were ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Time zones in USA

Time zones are demarcations of solar hours (15 degrees) on the planet (a few are offset by 30 or 45 minutes) used by many nations. Solar noon moves closer on average (depending on the month and day) ...
4
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1answer
317 views

sense of time in people with no means for time measurement

How did early, e.g. ancient to early medieval times, people have a sense of time, i.e. an hour, with no clocks around? I am aware that mechanisms for time measurement existed, sundials, water clocks, ...
15
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2answers
701 views

What is the earliest reliably dated event exact to the year?

How far does reliable counting of the years reach into the past: with the help of dating methods? using only primary sources?
16
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2answers
3k views

Why did the clocks go back in Shanghai on December 31, 1927?

If you are a Stack Overflow user you may already have read Jon Skeet's excellent answer that discusses a time zone change at the end of 1927 in Shangai, when the clocks went back for 5 minutes and 52 ...
19
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1answer
685 views

Farming societies without calendars

Were there ever any farming societies without a calendar? For example, the Egyptians had a calendar to help them know when to plant and when to harvest. The ancient Greeks had a calendar, as did the ...