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Han Dynasty gnomon

  Oldest Astronomical Instruments Discovered in China

A few pieces of "lacquerware of unknown names" unearthed 35 years ago from a tomb of the Western Han Dynasty in Fuyang City, Anhui Province, are found to be a gnomon with template and an equatorial device for the positional measurement of celestial bodies. They are among the oldest instruments for astronomical measurement that can still be seen in the world.
After more than two years cooperative study with experts from the Anhui Museum and the Fuyang Municipal Museum, SHI Yunli, professor from the Department of the History of Science and Scientific Archaeology, University of Science and Technology of China, has recently resolved the puzzles and found that the former is a special gnomon with template, while the latter parts of a equatorial device for the positional observation of celestial bodies.

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