Egyptian merkhet

Made:
600 BCE in Egypt
maker:
Unknown
Egyptian 'star clock' (merkhet), c 600 BC. Front view, light grey background. From a colour transparency in the Science

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Egyptian 'star clock' (merkhet), c 600 BC. Front view, light grey background. From a colour transparency in the Science
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

'Merkhet', Ancient Egyptian astronomical timekeeping instrument, bronze with hieroglyphic text inlaid with electrum metal, fitted with replica plumb bob, 600BCE. Inscription indicates it was the property of Bes, son of Khonsirtis (Khensardais var.), an astronomer priest of the god, Horus of Edfu in Upper Egypt. Used to layout axes of buildings and to determine the hours of the night by observing the passage of selected stars across the north-south meridian.

Details

Category:
Time Measurement
Materials:
bronze, electrum (gold-silver alloy) and textile
Identifier:
1929-585
type:
sundial
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • timepiece
credit:
Dr Howard Carter