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An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is highly useful in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life.

Time is also of significant social importance, having economic value ("time is money") as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans.Lunisolar calendars have a thirteenth month added to some years to make up for the difference between a full year (now known to be about 365.24 days) and a year of just twelve lunar months.The numbers twelve and thirteen came to feature prominently in many cultures, at least partly due to this relationship of months to years.They could be used to measure the hours even at night, but required manual upkeep to replenish the flow of water.The Ancient Greeks and the people from Chaldea (southeastern Mesopotamia) regularly maintained timekeeping records as an essential part of their astronomical observations.

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