Random mutterings, observations, and comments on what ever comes to mind. Photos will be posted.
The south pointing chariot is a non-magnetic compass invented by the Chinese around 2600 BCE. The invention is differential gearing which runs off each wheel to keep the dragon pointing in whatever direction it is set. So long as the chariot is on smooth, level ground, the figure will point in only one direction. This working model can be pulled in a full circle keeping the dragon pointing in only one direction.
Lots of gears, but actually it is a piece of art. Very well done. Building it would drive any sane person over the edge!
Ok, so it points in only one direction...how do you know that direction is south?
Icenine, the chariot needs to be set in a known direction before a trip or battle. Once set, it will continue to point in that direction no matter how it is turned. It was a Chinese military weapon which was used far beyond the invention of the magnetic compass, but perhaps only in parades to impress civilians keeping the magnetic compass a secret. I suspect the South direction had spiritual and/or cultural significance.