The clock is the oldest human innovation which meets our need to measure intervals of time that are shorter than the natural units of a day, the lunar month and a year. Long before these devices found a place in our houses, there were sundials which are considered the predecessors to the instruments used today. They showed the time by indicating the position of the shadow on a flat surface in relation to the movement of the sun.
The next item used to tell the time were duration timers, which today are commonly known as hourglasses; these are built according to a fixed interval that can be measured. Another instrument that was used even in Ancient Egypt was the water clock that relied on the movement of water to tell the time. It was not until the invention of the verge escapement that made mechanical timepieces possible in 1300 Europe that used oscillating timekeepers such as balance wheels.
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