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Ryan, Professional Researcher
Category: General
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whats the origin of our 24 hour day and the 60 minute

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what's the origin of our 24 hour day and the 60 minute hour and the 60 second minute,   for example why wasn't the time measurement metric as we have ten fingers to count with which is the obvious reason for our numbering system which is based on the number 10. I guess that the 7 day week comes from the bible, but why couldn't we have had say a 20 hour day with 100 second minutes and 100 minute hours. Of course the length of the second would have to be of a time duration to give us a correct length of day

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer!

We can actually thank the Egyptians and Babylonians for the hour, minute and second:

Egypt (around 1300 B.C.E.) measured their daylight, twilight, and darkness. They found the ratio of 10 : 2: 12, thus our 24 hours in a day. No one specific person can be credited for this, it's lost for the ages. But we do know it was the Egyptians. They are also responsible for the 365 days in a year!

Then came the Babylonians (around 200 B.C.E) who used a base-60 counting system for their astrological calculations. It was easy to divide by 2,3,4,5,6, and 10. They are responsible for breaking up the hours into two sexagesimal (base-60) units. The first being minutes, and then seconds.

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