Art And Culture

First Village Sundial Installed

First Village Sundial InstalledFirst Village Sundial Installed

The first village sundial was unveiled in a ceremony at Estark village in Kashan Province, on the occasion of Engineer’s Day in Iran (Feb 24), which is marked to honor the celebrated Persian scientist Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274).

The cost of the astronomical instrument exceeded 60 million rials ($1700), said its creator Iraj Safaei, pointing to the steel frame of the sundial and the steel plate of one sq m placed on it “engraved with lines and inscriptions,” IRNA reported.  

The sun dial took three months to construct and its applications indicate noon prayer time of the Persian calendar (based on circles depicted on the plate), and Qibla compass (used by Muslims to indicate the direction to face to perform ritual prayers).”

The sundial plate is designed by Iran’s ancient motifs such as Persepolis, he said, noting that the prominent arabesque design - an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines - of Kashan carpets is also depicted in the margins using brass as material. There are also guidelines on the sundial’s applications and functions framed in the middle of the steel-made decorations.

  Other Types

As the city of Kashan has a 7000-year history, there were certainly other types of sundials used as midday index in the city, Safaei underlined, noting that according to the documents, one of the most sophisticated old mechanical instruments is located in ‘Sang Square’ in Kashan that tourists find astonishing.

He considered the construction of such scientific instruments as an opportunity for the younger generation to familiarize themselves with Iran’s high cultural and scientific status. As an observatory expert in Kashan University, Safaei has constructed three sundials earlier installed in Isfahan and Tabriz provinces.  

Sundial is an instrument which shows time by the shadow of a pointer cast by the sun on to a plate marked in hours. Iran has 120 sundials and the Estark sundial is the first sophisticated one installed in a village. Simple types of such instruments were used in villages as a midday index earlier.