Skip to comments.Researchers suggest Vikings used crystals with sun compass to steer at night
Posted on 03/29/2014 9:14:22 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
A team of researchers working in Hungary has proposed that a sun compass artifact found in a convent in 1948 might have been used in conjunction with crystals to allow Vikings to guide their boats even at night. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, the team describes theories they've developed that might explain how Viking sailors were able to so accurately sail to places such as Greenland.
Since the discovery of the sun compass fragment, researchers have theorized that Viking sailors used them to plot their courseat least when the sun was shining. They didn't have magnetic compasses, however, which suggest they must have had some other means for steering in the evening or the later hours. In this latest effort, the researchers describe a scenario where the Vikings might have used a type of crystal that they called a sunstone to help them use light from the sun below the horizon as a guide.
The sun compass fragment, prior research has suggested, operated in similar fashion to a sundial, using the position of the sun to determine direction, instead of time. Some have suggested the Vikings also used a dome shaped object with slits in it, placed on top of the compass to help narrow the light during the time when the sun moved low towards the horizon.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Did Vikings navigate by polarized light?
Nature | 31 Jan 2011 | Jo Marchant
Posted on 1/31/2011 11:30:21 PM by Palter
Ancient man, contrary to some popular misconceptions, was not stupid...I find this to be a credible hypothesis.
Modernity has beget a bevy of ignorance and superstition—not necessarily “enlightenment” when it comes to knowledge and morality.
I was also going to post ‘this is not new’.
I’m sure not everybody with interest saw it, though.
But children are still taught the ‘myth’ (CC ‘discovering’ America)...and the Egyptians still won’t permit the ‘solid gold’ artifacts to be assayed to show they’re not just ‘plated’...
I think this theory has been around for some time.
As my son said, if they were so dumb, why is it their monuments are still standing 1000, 5000, 20,000 years later, and ours will last ... ?
The rise of the over-credentialled, under-informed class (popularly known as “academics” and “PhD’s”) would want everyone to believe that without them around, humanity sinks into a cesspool of ignorance.
Contrary to their twaddle, humanity got along pretty well before PhDs were being granted to everyone and their cousins. In the old days, we had real world tests for competence.
People were either competent... or they were dead. In hindsight, it was a pretty good test.
PROOF POSITIVE: 1) They didn't listen to rap "music" and 2) They didn't elect Obama.
They’d have to be acclimated, just as we all have been without necessarily realizing it, but the same basic abilities are what made them human as well.
World’s oldest telescope? [ Assyrian telescope? ]
Fathers Of The Zodiac Tracked Down
Thanks for the reminder.
Forty years ago I lived in a Scandinavian county for a few years. The fact that the Vikings navigated, including to their North American settlement(s), using a “sun stone” was well known at that time. It’s good to see the “scientific” community catch up. One day they may even discover that ancient people used fire to cook food!
I’m always amazed and often disappointed when I learn of scientific “types” finding artifacts from thousands of years ago. They speculate and postulate, and all along, they give the impression that they think our ancestors (or other civilizations) were too stupid to know how to do things.
It is to laugh. Most of the scientists today seem to cling to popular myths, and don’t bother trying to find out the truth of the past, and what mankind has been capable of for millenia.
Well dang, here’s me thinking all these years they would use Polaris to navigate at night......Dang :)
Here's a pretty complete run-down by my gemologist friend Elise Skalwold, who has deep Norwegian roots: VIKING SUNSTONE
Think of the effect government regulation has on competency. They set some minimal standard that the status quo accepts and then leave it in place. A license or a permit replaces a reputation.
Ancient people had trial and error on their side—and lots of Time. Writing helped a great deal and organization—thats why Egypt advanced—necause the Egyptians were in a place where all the germs of Africa came down the Nile—they became the best doctors in the Ancient World—and developed cures and drugs that could rival a 19th Century Western Sawbones. They did this because they had to. same with the Vikings (Norse) They were a sea faring people and needed to develope fine ships and ways to navagate—They had writing too—the Runes.
But what if it was cloudy??
Or maybe Snojet.
It’s interesting that the Phaistos Disk, which was excavated on Crete, was found to have been inscribed using dies, iow, movable type. No other examples of the disk have been found AFAIK, but time will tell. Sometime in the last 15 or so years one scholar claimed that the Phaistos Disk was a modern forgery, I wonder if the claim grew out of the use of dies.
Probably grew out of the desire to diss the maker(s) of the Disk, and make himself seem smarter. I, for one, do not discount or disrespect ANYthing found that indicates intelligence and innovation.
There are many possibilities for this “newfound data,” not the least of which is “alien intelligence.” We don’t know that there is no such thing, and we can’t discount a Higher Power aka Angels, who guide our thinking in ways that will help us.
So when I hear of someone who “pooh-pooh’s” the items found, I have to laugh at their ignorance and closed minds. Anything is possible.
Loki built one of these for Ragnar Lodbrok in season 1.
All you have to do is read the personal letters of people from a few hundred years ago to realize how much more literate and intelligent they were than the average iPhone user of today.
No lie. Bigger words, more complex sentences, and much better defined sense of the fitness of things, personal, spiritual and communal.
A small population from Scndinavia was vey successful for a few hundred years.
They invaded then merged in the British Isles. They conquered then merged into northern France. William the Conqueror who in 1066 took over England was a Viking descendant.
They went far into Russia and Asia, started the Kievan Rus culture, which is the basis for Russia that followed.
They sailed into the Mediterranean, and made an empire from southern Italy to Turkey.
They sailed to north America. You all know that story.
Few cultures can boast the influence achieved by such a small population. Today the Scandinavian countries’ population is less than 20 million. At home in the face of a hostile climate, they prosper as few others do.
I had high hopes for that series. They really let me down.
Chinese and Greeks used lodestones for navigation 3,000 years ago- these guys are morons-,
Magnesia in Greece was famous for lodestones=
Homer`s “The Iliad”, describes the 12 points of the magnetic compass as 12 ancient greek cities that are located on the 12 points-
duhh gimme a break
Sums it up better than I ever could. Well said.
Archaeologists and anthropogists do not own boats.
That is my conclusion after 60 years of watching non sailors commenting on people and cultures who sailed continuously.
Free clue: Sailors sail. All the time. Whenever possible. 3 days on the sea is not death defying high adventure but merely a fun sail.
The attraction of the lodestone to iron was known in Greece in the 7th century BC. The Greeks didn’t use a compass, they judged the direction traveled by the winds.
The Chinese discovered that the Earth has a magnetic field about 2000 years ago, but noticed that it didn’t point to true north a few centuries later, probably as a consequence of widespread seagoing trade during the time when Roman Empire and Han China were at their peaks, a period that has been described as the happiest time the Earth has ever known. Of course, they didn’t have streaming vid back then.
The Han court records record a visit from a Roman trade expedition during the time of Marcus Aurelius. At another time the Chinese sent an ambassador toward Rome, by sea; unfortunately they wound up in the Persian Gulf and did some trading with the locals there instead.
The early European compasses consisted of a magnetic sliver stuck through a couple of small pieces of cork to make it float on water. After 1492 the deviation of magnetic north from true north was rediscovered.
What you say??!!! Fire isn’t just a weapon of mass destruction??!!
Just a reminder that lodestones, or any other magnetic device, is less effective in the polar regions.
The Scandinavians had a big population explosion as a consequence of the Medieval warming; Viking-era farmsteads are found (as ruins) both farther north and at higher altitudes than are viable today.
They controlled a long route based on rivers and portages, and worked for the Byzantine emperors as the Varangian Guard, becoming both wealthy and powerful. That went on for a couple centuries.
Hardrada was working for the Byzantine general tasked with pushing the Saracens out of Sicily; the Saracens broke up pottery behind them to prevent a cavalry charge, so Hardrada had his cavalry wrap the horse’s hooves with palm fronds cut from the nearby trees, and charged them anyway.
The later Norman kingdom in Sicily didn’t last long, only two generations.
We think alike.
It would be like claiming that people with Harleys couldn’t have gone anywhere in the winter. :’)
LOL! I’m back where I was!
About the only thing I really need to know is that geniuses (geniusi?) have no lock on today’s board. If that were so, nothing would have changed since Adam and Eve.
I had not heard that about the Phaistos Disk. But I wonder if the scholar in question understood how simple stamping works? That was what was shown in the old Dragnet shows, where the hammer strikes the tool and leave a mark in the metal.
If an artisan were going to make a few dozen disks, that sort of stamping method is not only easier, but it eliminates errors caused by miscopying. It would make even more sense if the artisan had a shop table of slaves sitting there doing the work. They wouldn’t even have to understand what they were stamping.
Then how come Homer`s Iliad [1300bc] of 12 cities point magnetic north duhhh???
How did ancient Egyptians know how to algin their beds to magnetic north?
Can`t prove a negative but positive evidence must be taken into account.
If you have some ancient sources (I mean ancient, not Bauval or some other freak show) that states that they did, I’d really be interested in seeing it. Until then, uh, no, it didn’t happen that way.
The characters (my favorite is the “mohawk”) are basically identical when found twice on the disk, and the mark from the edge of the die was in the clay here and there when the disk was fired. I’d be surprised if no one besides the conjurer (faker) who sold the disks or the services was the only one in the ancient world to come up with the method, not least because the use of seals for stamping the royal signature was known in Mesopotamia.
Thanks for the navigation ping. I knew about the sunstone but had not heard of crystals.
הֲיָרֹעַ בַּרְזֶל בַּרְזֶל מִצָּפוֹן, וּנְחֹשֶׁת
knows north iron iron shattered [TO HAVE BEEN SHATTERING]
SHATTERED IRON KNOWS NORTH
[pieces of] iron knows north
הֲיָרֹעַ is a interrogative imperfect verb [reflexive=
WILL [NOT] SHATTERED IRON KNOW NORTH?
TRANS= "PIECES OF IRON POINT NORTH"
[to shatter=to break into pieces]