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THE HOURS  ~2160

The hour was originally defined in ancient civilizations (including those of Egypt, Sumer, India, and China) as either one twelfth of the time between sunrise and sunset or one twenty-fourth of a full day. In either case the division reflected the widespread use of a duodecimal numbering system. The importance of 12 has been attributed to the number of lunar cycles in a year, and also to the fact that humans have 12 finger bones (phalanges) on one hand (3 on each of 4 fingers). (It is possible to count to 12 with your thumb touching each finger bone in turn.) There is also a widespread tendency to make analogies among sets of data (12 months, 12 zodiacal signs, 12 hours, a dozen).

The Ancient Egyptian civilization is usually credited with establishing the division of the night into 12 parts, although there were many variations over the centuries. Astronomers in the Middle Kingdom (9th and 10th Dynasties) observed a set of 36 decan stars throughout the year. These star tables have been found on the lids of coffins of the period. The heliacal rising of the next decan star marked the start of a new civil week, which was then 10 days. The period from sunset to sunrise was marked by 18 decan stars. Three of these were assigned to each of the two twilight periods, so the period of total darkness was marked by the remaining 12 decan stars, resulting in the 12 divisions of the night. The time between the appearance of each of these decan stars over the horizon during the night would have been about 40 modern minutes. During the New Kingdom, the system was simplified, using a set of 24 stars, 12 of which marked the passage of the night. (click to see all the article on Wikipedia)

小時  ~西元前216十年

記時單位中的小時,係由古代文明所定義(包含了埃及,蘇美,印度,中國等文明),計算方式有日出到日落時段的十二分之一,或是一天的廿四分之一。在這兩種狀況下,都表示了十二進位被廣泛使用。十二的意義起源於一年當中,月亮週期的數字,此外,也與人類手指指骨有十二塊有關聯。(譯註:排除拇指之後,每隻手指三節骨頭,3x4=12)

(你可以用你的拇指接觸到該十二節指骨,數到十二。)也因此,十二成為計算上廣為使用的型式。(十二個月,黃道十二宮,十二小時,一打)

古埃及文明通常是將夜晚劃分成十二個部分,而在幾個世紀以來,劃分方式有所變化。中王國時期(第九及第十王朝)的天文學家觀察到:在一年當中可畫分成卅六個旬星。這些旬星的表格發現於該時期的棺木蓋子上。當時的一周為十日,與太陽一起上升的下一個旬星被標記為新的一周之始。日出到日落的時段被十八個旬星所標記。兩個暮光時期(譯註:指的是清晨與黃昏)各分配三個旬星,所以完全黑暗的時段被十二個旬星所標記,夜晚區分成十二個部分。由夜晚的地平線為標準來計算,各個旬星之間的間隔時間約為現在的四十分鐘。在新王國時期,系統有所簡化,使用了一組廿四顆星,以其中十二顆來標記夜晚。

(維基連結:小時)(中文維基內文好少阿 )

 

1:旬星(decan stars)decan的意思是,可以翻成旬(十日),癸(化學命名),內容請見維基(無中文),旬星指的是特定的星座,將天空劃分成卅六個旬星是埃及的計算方式,計算上是將黃道360度以10度為單位來切割,換成中國可類比成廿八個星宿。

2:整理一下,卅六個旬星的分配:清晨(3),白日(18),黃昏(3),夜晚(12)3+18+3+12=36,埃及的緯度跟台灣差不多,為什麼白天高達12小時?可能是計算上的問題吧

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