How to Make a Greek Water Clock

Written by martin adamovic
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How to Make a Greek Water Clock
Making a Greek water clock is simple (clock image by Clark Duffy from

Water clocks are one of the oldest forms of keeping time that is known to man. In ancient Greece, water clocks were very prominent and varied in size and design. None the less, all of these clocks used water to keep track of time. With a few supplies you can make your own Greek water clock, even if you have no previous experience.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Beaker
  • 2 litre plastic bottle
  • Scissors or razor blade
  • Ring stand
  • Rubber stopper
  • Rubber tubing
  • Wax pencil
  • Water
  • Food colouring

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  1. 1

    Cut off the bottom of a two litre plastic bottle with a pair of scissors or a utility knife.

  2. 2

    Draw a line with a wax pencil just above the bottom edge of the top half of the the two litre plastic bottle.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the cap on the bottle and insert a rubber stopper in its place. Feed the vinyl tubing into the hole in the top of the rubber stopper and use the clamp to clamp the tube on the same side as the opening of the bottle.

  4. 4

    Turn the plastic upside down and insert it into the ring on the ring stand while putting the other end of the tubing into the beaker.

  5. 5

    Fill the bottle with water up to the line you drew in Step 2 and add food colouring to colour the water.

  6. 6

    Loosen the clamp enough to allow a steady drip of water to run into the beaker while using your other hand to start timing with a stop watch. Use the wax pencil to mark the water level every 10 minutes.

  7. 7

    Pour the water out of the beaker and into the plastic container that is positioned in the ring stand and repeat the drip process. Mark the water level every five minutes this time.

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