Top Adsense

Marine Sandglass or Hourglass From the Tagbita Bay Shipwreck [Amazing Archaeological Discovery]

Marine Sandglass or Hourglass From the Tagbita Bay Shipwreck


Marine sandglass from the Tagbita Bay shipwreck, a late 19th century Common Era (CE) European vessel archaeologically excavated by the combined efforts of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) and the United Asia Ocean Quest, Inc. (UAOQI) off the shores of Tagbita Bay, Quezon, Palawan from 2003–2007.


hourglass or sandglass seen from a 17th century oil painting on wooden panel entitled "The Alchemist" by David Teniers the Younger
An hourglass or sandglass seen from a 17th century oil painting on wooden panel entitled "The Alchemist" by David Teniers the Younger (circa 1645). Image retrieved from C. Novis (2018) at "A Painting of the Alchemist"


A sandglass is a timekeeping device typically designed with two glass globes, also known as phials or ampules. A narrow throat connects the ampules so that particles of uniform grain size inside the vessel flowed from one aperture to the other. Sandglass also refers to the sand particles used as granular materials. Ballotini or small glass beads, marble powder, and even crushed eggshells were also utilized for the same purpose. Time is measured by the elapsed interval between inverting the glass up with the upper half filled with grains until the last have fallen through the aperture by gravity. 


Sandglass is also known as hourglass, sand timer, sand watch, sand clock, and egg timer. The use of the device dates to the 8th century CE up until the development of the mechanical clock in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 15th century, sandglasses were used to define durations of sermons, lessons, manufacturing, and culinary activities. 


Tagbita Bay shipwreck marine sandglass and its accessories
The Tagbita Bay shipwreck marine sandglass and its accessories: A. the marine sandglass, B. brass frame, C. brass frame end with no. 28 inscription, D. glass phials or ampules, E. glass phials or ampules, F. an opening at one end of a glass phial. Image by BC Orillaneda, 2015.


The marine sandglass from the Tagbita Bay shipwreck measures about 10 cm in height and 4 to 5 cm in diameter, with each of the phials measuring approximately 3 to 4 cm in diameter. It has a brass frame with the number 28 inscribed on one end, and with visible signs of corrosion on the other. There is an opening in one of the phials’ end, probably an access point for filling the vessel with granular materials.


Archaeological study is very important in supporting the accurate interpretation of past events, which helps in reconstructing our history. When a site is disturbed or pilfered, we lose information forever without the significant context to assist us in piecing together our story. This is much more valuable than the selfish individual’s monetary gain or enriching their collections. Our heritage and recounting its narrative through material culture benefits future generations and our aspirations as a nation. If you see or have knowledge of sites being looted, report to your local government authorities immediately or contact the closest NMP office near you.


National Museum of the Philippines is temporarily closed again to the public. In the meantime, know more about our collections through our galleries and this series, and expect an upgraded exhibition on three centuries of maritime trade soon.



________________

Poster and text by the Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Division

© National Museum of the Philippines (2021)

No comments:

Got Something to Say? Thoughts? Additional Information?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Powered by Blogger.