Jemez Springs Library Human Sundial - Atlas Obscura

Jemez Springs Library Human Sundial

This sundial indicates the time based on where you stand within it. 


Located in the Village Park of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, across the street from the Municipal Offices, Bath House, and Library, is an unusual sundial. Unlike most sundials, this one operates only with human participation.

By standing on the appropriate month stone embedded in the ground, a person serves as a living gnomon (also known as the style or pointer) to cast their shadow across the dial and determine the appropriate time of day. This unusual feature classifies the sundial as an analemmatic dial, characterized by the absence of a fixed gnomon and a reliance on external markers.

The sundial was built in 2005 by Jim Forcier-Call, a local of the town and mixed-media artist at Jemez Fine Art. It was built using instructions from Modern Sunclocks, based in Kilwinning, Scotland. Forcier-Call built the sundial in honor of the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of Jemez Springs as a village. The outer border is composed of bricks bearing the names of donors to the local library, which sponsored the sundial’s construction.

It is a small but meaningful tribute to the little town. It is not simply an outdated timekeeping structure, but a collective celebration of local community spirit and collaborative effort.

Know Before You Go

The sundial is located on the west side of State Road 4. Off-street parking is available in the plaza near the sundial. 

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October 3, 2019
January 22, 2024

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