Image: Lynn Fawcett
Image: Lynn Fawcett

This is a pictograph of a sundial. The gnomon is on the left and the shadow is on the right. Therefore, the sun is in the west. It is the afternoon. The shadow has four lines of measurement with three spaces, which gives a time of 3 pm.

Illustrative Text Reference:

Harappa: Tablet in bas-relief: H-189 A: Jagat Pati Joshi and Asko Parpola, 1987: Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions: Volume 1: Page 211: Collections in India: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.


Tablet H-189 was probably a token for porterage. The inscription gives the agreed time at which the porters and pack animals would finish work.

You should note how this is the only symbol in the time group, where the shadow is depicted on the right, and the only one where the shadow itself is being measured. For the more general measurements of time, the gnomon is pictured on the right, and the units of measurement are linked to the gnomon.

Image Credit:

Sundial 3 pm: Lynn Fawcett, 2019.