Burning time. How the old clock worked on incense

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Burning time. How old clocks worked on incense

You could tell the time of day even by smell.

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Previously, knowing what time it was was not as easy as looking at a smartphone. In ancient times, people made different watches. They were made of sand, stone, wheels – and this is not the whole list of materials.

One of the watches is not remembered so often. They were distributed in China during the reign of the Qin Dynasty. And it's an incense watch that was as complex as it was accurate, writes Ancient Origins.

They were projected as little labyrinths. It was necessary to keep them burning all day. Although they fit in the palm of your hand, the tiny carvings were amazing. Clocks were made of fire-resistant materials, so they could not be burned out by the heat of the flame. Each of them had several trays. The bottom one had a tiny shovel and damper. Above was the ashes, laid out along the incense path. Each stencil has been made to burn for specific seasons.

Burning time. How old clocks worked on incense

Burning time. How old ones worked watch on incense

In general, the process looked like this:

  • Initially, watch users used a damper to smooth out the ash in the middle layer;
  • When the layer became even, a stencil was chosen according to the season;
  • Then the stencil was placed on the surface of a flat layer of ash, and the pattern was cut out with the sharp end of a shovel;
  • Once the shape was cut, incense could be added and lit.

In addition, the watch's lace lid helped prevent rapid fading. But even if this happened, it was easy enough to determine the relationship between the time of day and the place that burned out on the clock.

Over the years, new variants have emerged. From the traditional labyrinth clock, some moved to newer ones with a chimney through the top cover. At different times of the day, the smoke went out into different chimneys. And some used different types of scent so they could tell what time it was just by sniffing the watch.

Burning time. How old clocks worked on incense

Burning time. How old clocks worked on incense

< p> It is worth noting that this type of clock was previously used for alarm clocks. Fire also helped in everything, which created a kind of signaling. An elementary example was a metal ball alarm clock. The balls were hung on thin threads to watch with incense. As soon as they burned out, everything fell into the bowl below, making noise. Giant versions of this mechanism were even made for emperors. Such watches were distinguished by luxurious stencils.

This invention of mankind is more than 1300 years old. And historians still admire them for their long-term accuracy.