has a long and rich tradition in many branches of astronomy,
including gnomonics. Until a few decades ago, sundials were
used in mosques and madrasas (traditional religious schools)
to show the times of the day, especially to determine the
times of the five daily ritual prayers. Nowadays in Iran,
there is a noticeable interest in astronomy both on academic
and amateur levels. Some modern sundials have been constructed
in educational and religious centers. For a short report on
“Sundials in Iran”, see Compendium, vol. 5, Dec. 1998, pp.
first analemmatic sundial of Iran has been constructed in a
beautiful park named “Bűstân-e Mellat” (lit., National
Park) in the city of Rasht, center of the green province of Gîlân
lat. 37˚, 16΄
situated on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Gîlân
is the birth-place of Kűshyâr ibn Labbân, the Iranian
astronomer who flourished around 1000 AD (see “Kűshyâr ibn
Labbân” in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 7,
1981, pp. 531-33).
calculations and design of this analemmatic sundial was
carried out by Mohammad Bagheri, an Iranian member of NASS.
The construction and mounting of the sundial was encouraged by
Thâqeb Astronomical Society of Gîlân, and supported by the
municipality and the city council of Rasht. Like many European
cities, Rasht being surrounded by the Caspian and the Alburz
mountain range, has mostly cloudy or rainy weather. However,
on March 2, 2002, when the inauguration ceremony was being
held in the presence of the official and academic authorities
of the province and scores of astronomy enthusiasts, the sky
was clear and the sun was shining. So, the curious
participants in the gathering could check how the sundial
works. There was also an exhibition of photos of different
types of sundials from all over the world in the Park in a
building which is the seat of the astronomical society.
is a plan to construct several sundials of different types in
this park in order to make it a scientific tourist attraction.
We also plan to make Thâqeb Astronomical Society of Gîlân
the main center for research and activity in gnomonics. We
appeal hereby to all dialists and related institutions
(observatories, planetariums, astronomical societies, sundial
societies, etc.) to contribute to these goals by kindly
sending their ideas, designs, and sundial kits through the
address mentioned below.