In ancient times the tower was used for several purposes, among them a weather vane, a Water Clock, and a compass. The Water Clock in the tower was a large and interesting mechanism. It was moved by the flow of water that came from a spring in the Acropolis nearby, and was used to measure time on cloudy days or nights, when the sundial was unusable.
Each side of the tower symbolizes the direction of the wind. We know this because on each side of the tower there is a plaque that shows a direction of the wind.
While Christianity developed throughout the years, the tower was also used as a church. Later it was slowly abandoned, covered with earth. Only in archeological digs conducted in the Ancient Agora, between 1837-1845, was the tower revealed and exposed by archeologists.
This tower stands out in its octagonal shape, with 8 sides. On each one of the sides there is a plaque of with images of floating characters in the air. Actually, each of these characters represents the 8 directions of the wind, or the 8 gods of the wind.
The construction of the Water Clock was pretty simple. It is made from an upper container that is filled with water, and a lower container that is empty. Through a hole at the bottom of the upper container, water slowly leaks at a constant pace into the lower container. Markings on the lower container presents the different hours, as the water slowly rose, as the lower contains fills up, time goes by...
A more advanced version was invented with time, possibly by the Romans. This version improved the original Water Clock in this way: the lower container had something that floated inside that was attached to a mechanism that spins a dial. With the help of a gearbox and gear, the dial pointed to a time table and showed the time
Not only in ancient Greece was a Water Clock used in ancient times. Similar Water Clocks have been found in China and Egypt.
Across from the Tower of the Winds, right next to Plopida Street, are remains of a square building, that was once the public restrooms built by Emperor Vespasian between the years 70 - 77. If you look closely, you will be able to see the toilet seats, made of stone slabs. In this restroom water was constantly running that washed away all the feces into the main sewage in town.