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Clepsydra of the Oropos Amphiareion

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Clara Leach, Ethan Lambright Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jan 27, 2021 05:48 PM History
The Oropos Amphiareion clepsydra is a hydraulic inflow clock serving the Sanctuary of Amphiaraus. Situated on the southeast bank of the sacred spring of Amphiaraus, this inflow hydraulic clock dates to the 4th century BCE.

38.29062895, 23.84540025

sanctuary (religious center)


Excavated by the Archaeological Society in Athens in 1884, the clepsydra (water clock) at the Amphiareion at Oropos is thought to have been built in the 4th century BCE. This particular clepsydra is a rare example of an inflow water clock, meaning time is measured against a constant rate of deposition, rather than the more usual outflow water clocks found in ancient Greece. The clock is located opposite the sacred spring at the Amphiareion, to the southeast of the sanctuary. It is made up of a rectangular tank with a staircase leading down, allowing for an attendant to routinely pull a plug and drain the tank of water. A pipe sourced from the nearby sacred spring was likely used to fill the tank with water. This particular water clock is unusually well-preserved, allowing for the better study of its mechanics and ancient water clocks in general. 


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Clara Leach, Ethan Lambright, Thomas Landvatter, and Tom Elliott, 'Clepsydra of the Oropos Amphiareion: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 28 September 2023]

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