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Researchers suggest Vikings used crystals with sun compass to steer at night
Phys dot org ^ | March 26, 2014 | Bob Yirka

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 course—at 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 ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: ancientnavigation; compass; crystal; godsgravesglyphs; greenland; hungary; sunstone; sunstones; thevikings; viking; vikings; vinland
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Credit: Soren Thirslund

Credit: Soren Thirslund

1 posted on 03/29/2014 9:14:23 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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Did Vikings navigate by polarized light?
Nature | 31 Jan 2011 | Jo Marchant
Posted on 1/31/2011 11:30:21 PM by Palter
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2666520/posts


2 posted on 03/29/2014 9:15:12 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/alreadyposted/index)
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To: 240B; 75thOVI; Adder; albertp; asgardshill; At the Window; bitt; blu; BradyLS; cajungirl; ...
This is the weekly Digest ping, but it can't compare with Theoria's topic from yesterday, Discoveries Challenge Beliefs on Humans’ Arrival in the Americas.

3 posted on 03/29/2014 9:17:46 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/alreadyposted/index)
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To: SunkenCiv

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.


4 posted on 03/29/2014 9:19:35 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SunkenCiv

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’...


5 posted on 03/29/2014 9:21:34 AM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: SunkenCiv

Very interesting.


6 posted on 03/29/2014 9:27:23 AM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: SunkenCiv

I think this theory has been around for some time.


7 posted on 03/29/2014 9:29:32 AM PDT by fso301
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To: SoFloFreeper
Ancient man, contrary to some popular misconceptions, was not stupid

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 ... ?

8 posted on 03/29/2014 9:35:32 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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To: SoFloFreeper

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.


9 posted on 03/29/2014 9:44:26 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: SoFloFreeper
Ancient man, contrary to some popular misconceptions, was not stupid

PROOF POSITIVE: 1) They didn't listen to rap "music" and 2) They didn't elect Obama.

10 posted on 03/29/2014 9:45:03 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: SunkenCiv
Ragnar Lothbrok had one. He knew how to do it. /s
11 posted on 03/29/2014 9:45:34 AM PDT by deweyfrank
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To: logi_cal869; bigheadfred; fso301
The earlier iteration of this idea can be found in a few topics from the FRchives, I've also linked one of the in message 2 or 3 above:
KEYWORDS: sunstone; sunstones

12 posted on 03/29/2014 9:49:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/alreadyposted/index)
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To: NVDave

well said


13 posted on 03/29/2014 9:50:14 AM PDT by Pelham (If you do not deport it is amnesty by default.)
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To: SoFloFreeper

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? ]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/1879740/posts

Fathers Of The Zodiac Tracked Down
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/1844629/posts


14 posted on 03/29/2014 9:52:56 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/alreadyposted/index)
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To: SunkenCiv

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!


15 posted on 03/29/2014 9:59:17 AM PDT by Cincinnatus.45-70 (What do DemocRats enjoy more than a truckload of dead babies? Unloading them with a pitchfork!)
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To: SunkenCiv; UCANSEE2

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.


16 posted on 03/29/2014 10:01:43 AM PDT by Monkey Face (I don't know when the UFO dumped off all these stupid people, but I guess they're not coming back.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Well dang, here’s me thinking all these years they would use Polaris to navigate at night......Dang :)


17 posted on 03/29/2014 10:04:58 AM PDT by The Cajun (tea party!!!, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert......Nuff said.)
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To: SunkenCiv
The sun compass theory seems new; the "sunstone" theory has been around for many years.

Here's a pretty complete run-down by my gemologist friend Elise Skalwold, who has deep Norwegian roots: VIKING SUNSTONE

18 posted on 03/29/2014 10:25:51 AM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: NVDave

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.


19 posted on 03/29/2014 10:36:26 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Bernard Marx

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.


20 posted on 03/29/2014 10:51:30 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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