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    Re: Astrolabe: Shipwreck find 'earliest navigation tool'
    From: Stephen N.G. Davies
    Date: 2017 Oct 25, 09:02 +0800
    Seaborne astrolabes were quite different to those used on land, so if da Game (or other early Portuguese arrival), then it should be easy to tell. That said, astrolabes were in use in the classical world c.4th century BCE to 4th century CE and then on into the Byzantine Empire. They were principally developed in the medieval period in the Islamic middle east, with the earliest recorded example being manufactured in the 9th century CE and the earliest surviving example dating from the 10th century CE. in non-Islamic Europe (i.e. Europe pre Reconquista) the earliest examples are 11th century. So given a find in Oman, I’d suppose the greater probability would that this is more likely to have been a local product. 
    Stephen D
    Dr Stephen Davies
    c/o Department of Real Estate and Construction
    EH103, Eliot Hall
    University of Hong Kong

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    On 25 Oct 2017, at 7:08 AM, Jackson McDonald <NoReply_McDonald@fer3.com> wrote:

    Early, yes.  Earliest, I don’t think so.  Still, a wonder archeological find if it belonged to a ship in Vasco da Gama’s fleet.  


    On Oct 24, 2017, at 11:20 AM, Richard B. Langley <NoReply_Langley@fer3.com> wrote:

    "An artefact excavated from a shipwreck off the coast of Oman has been found to be the oldest known example of a type of navigational tool.
    "Marine archaeologists say the object is an astrolabe, an instrument once used by mariners to measure the altitude of the Sun during their voyages.
    "It is believed to date from between 1495 and 1500."

    More: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41724022

    -- Richard Langley

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