Earliest known Mariner's Astrolabe research

ScienceDaily | 3/18/2019 | Staff
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The scientific process of verifying the disc as an astrolabe by laser imaging is described in a paper published today by Mearns and Jason Warnett and Mark Williams of WMG at the University of Warwick in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

The Sodré astrolabe has made it into the Guinness Book of world records is believed to have been made between 1496 and 1501 and is unique in comparison to all other mariner's astrolabes.

Mariner - Astrolabes - Sea - Explorers - Portuguese

Mariner's Astrolabes were used for navigating at sea by early explorers, most notably the Portuguese and Spanish.

They are considered to be the rarest and most prized of artefacts to be found on ancient shipwrecks and only 104 examples are known to exist in the world.

Sea - Voyage - West - Coast - Africa

They were first used at sea on a Portuguese voyage down the west coast of Africa in 1481. Thereafter, astrolabes were relied on for navigation during the most important explorations of the late 15th century, including those led by Bartolomeu Dias, Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama.

It is the only solid disk type astrolabe with a verifiable provenance and the only specimen decorated with a national symbol: the royal coat of arms of Portugal.

Mariner - Astrolabe - Gap - Development - Instruments

As the earliest verifiable mariner's astrolabe it fills a chronological gap in the development of these iconic instruments and is believed to be a transitional instrument between the classic planispheric astrolabe and the open-wheel type astrolabe that came into use sometime before 1517.

The thin 175 mm diameter disk weighing 344 grams was analysed by a team from WMG who travelled to Muscat, Oman in November...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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