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How did they know their years?

7up
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How did they know their years?

We all know that until science proved the world was round, in history most believed it was flat.

So how did they work out what a year was? - Watching the stars would be the obvious answer but then that would assume that people back then had some sort of understanding of how stars manage to cycle each night "around" the sky. As flat earthers, this would surely be a bit of a problem?

So if they couldn't understand the basics of how the planet rotates and had no precision measuring equipment, how on earth were years measured and known to be correct?

More to the point, how do we know that what we're told about events in history is actually correct?

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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gleneagles
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Re: How did they know their years?

Just guessing here but could they have made that decision based on the position of the moon and even breaking a month down based on how much of the moon was visible ?

As for events in history, they say the victors write history, I guess a lot of what we think or believe is incorrect.

We are born into history and history is born into us.
shutter
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Re: How did they know their years?

I "get" what @7up is saying...   in short, I would suspect that the moon had some sort of effect on live in general.. for example, fishermen would attrribute the high tide to the moon phases... also the farming type would ally the moon`s cycle to the way the crops grew at certain times of the "year"... and that it was repetetive in the terms of seasons... However... it would need some kind of national/international co-ordination / co-operation to designate how long a year is, in terms of "moonths" and the cycles of the moon..   of course, the only "serious" organisation that "could" have done that would be the ROMANS.. but "prior" to the Roman period  and afterwards , for some considerable time, there was no "national" or international organisation to make a "standard" length of year, and to disseminate that information to the general populace. 

pretty much like we, here in britain, did not get a "standard" time for the whole country, until the railways brought in "railway time" to cor-odinate the national transport system as it was growing.  

Alex
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Re: How did they know their years?

Bit before my time.

My dad told me how he stayed up all night watching the Moon landing and that my mum just went to bed. When I were younger, dad would let me stay up until silly o'clock if I watched anything he was interested in.

If were alive then, (and sadly my father has passed away). My ideal day would be to stay up all night watching it with him.

As the "Perfect Day" song lyrics once said that would be mine. 

shutter
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Re: How did they know their years?


@Alex wrote:

Bit before my time.

 


 

 

 I think that @7up  was referring back ,a lot longer than before anyones` time... so please do not feel ashamed about it being   as you said.....  "Bit before my time"... 

TTman
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Re: How did they know their years?

didnt I read somewhere in the las few days that a device had been found made by the romans to calculate the time and they have managed to reproduce it..it was a very complicated arrangement of cogs. Might not be accurate but cant remember exactly what it was and at the moment cant find the article maybe some one else can.Wink

shutter
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Re: How did they know their years?

There are several "early" methods of "marking" time as it passes, during the day, or night... e.g. burning candle with marks for each segment calculated as 1 hour.. or "water clocks" that relied on a regular drip to mark the passage of time... but I don`t think there was anything that actually measured a year,,.... what @7up  is thinking about, probably, is who decided how long  " one " year would be... and how did "everyone else" in the world come to know about it, as a "standard" measure of the years they have lived through..

 

Imagine you decide that  a year will be 365days long... and you want everyone else in the world to know and use that ... ( in those days, there was no "international" communication on the scales that we know of, as is, today..

Mook
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Re: How did they know their years?

The use of the moon is all very but relates more to tides than to seasons. So enter Stonehenge early man's Calendar. Not only was it used to worship their deities but was also used to mark and track the passing of the seasons and time.

There are hundreds of henges around the UK it not just Stonehenge and these were used I guess for local time keeping.

 

gleneagles
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Re: How did they know their years?

I think the Romans made one of the major changes to what we accept as a year as they changed the calendar from 10 to 12 months.

We are born into history and history is born into us.
archerry
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Re: How did they know their years?

@TTman 

Are you referring to the Antikythera mechanism?
It was found in an ancient shipwreck in the early 1900's off the coast of a Greek island.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

It was reported last week that further analysis had revealed new insights.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/12/scientists-move-closer-to-solving-mystery-of-antikyt...

It is quite fascinating how the ancients were able to manufacture this device so accurately.
It wasn't until perhaps the eighteenth century that dividing engines were invented that were accurate enough to enable the manufacture of measuring instruments such as sextants.

The ancients also knew that the world was round, one even managed to calculate the size remarkably accurately by timing  the sun's shadow in two well shafts and measuring the distance between them.

Regards,

Alistair

Minivanman
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Re: How did they know their years?

Years have been changed by states and events. In short, the year is what you say it is ie: the Gregorian calendar that some Pope mucked about with, and year zero which some despot in Cambodia thought was a spiffing idea.

As for most people thinking the earth was flat I'm not so sure they did but there you go, some folks will accept all sort of nonsense in the absence of an alternative to flying teapots in the sky.

Have a nice day Sunday posters, and don't forget to cook and do the washing for all those Mums.  

  

 


Don't limit the friends you haven't met with arguments you'll never have.
Champnet
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Re: How did they know their years?


Have a nice day Sunday posters, and don't forget to cook and do the washing for all those Mums.  

 


For most of us that will be a virtual gesture....

shutter
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Re: How did they know their years?

@Champnet or.... in quite a lot of case... "a Non-Event"    Cheesy

Minivanman
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Re: How did they know their years?

@Champnet 

Indeed, but I was also thinking of the Mums we are married to.

One tweet read earlier telling others (in capital letter no less) not to "let this dictatorship government stop you from seeing your Mum this Sunday on her special day.....".

I'll leave others to guess my reply to that nonsense.

 

How do they know the years of Dinosaurs? 

One little lad asked the guide in a museum how old one particular Dinosaur was...

"Two hundred and forty million, four years and seven months" was the reply.

"Blimey" said the little lad "how can you be so accurate?"

"Well" said the guide, "I've worked here for four years and seven months - and it was two hundred and forty million years old when I started"

😁

 

  

 


Don't limit the friends you haven't met with arguments you'll never have.
Mook
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Re: How did they know their years?

An update to what @archerry said regarding the Antikythera Mechanism