Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Earliest marine navigation, was New discussion thread topics?
    From: Jim Thompson
    Date: 2004 Feb 12, 10:38 -0400

    My understanding of early navigation history is too thin, and I would like
    to learn more:
    From the earliest part of my timeline, so far:
    15,000 BCE: Humans scratched the moon cycle on bone.
    5000's BCE: Sumer's culture in what is now southern Iraq views the earth as
    flat (http://www.ethicalatheist.com/docs/flat_earth_myth_ch5.html)
    3000's BCE: Cretans crossed the Mediterranean in open galleys. How did they
    2000's BCE: Babylonians could predict motions of the sun, moon, planets and
    stars across the sky.
    1950-1750 BCE: Babylonians knew the Pythagorean theorem, solved linear and
    quadratic equations, and compiled tables of square and cube roots. Did they
    have some of the first written tables for celestial navigation, the earliest
    precursors of our modern almanac?
    1000-800 BCE: Polynesians used celestial observations and seabird migration.
    The constellations were well known by this time. See
    http://www.pvs-hawaii.com/navigation/hawaiian_nav.htm for an excellent
    article giving a sense of the complexity of their navigation skills.
    700 BCE: Assyrians and Babylonians define the Zodiac, and divide the
    celestial sphere into 360o.
    600's BCE (at least): Greeks navigated by the sun and stars.
    500's BCE: Greeks "developed the idea that the stars were fixed on a
    celestial sphere which rotated about the spherical Earth every 24 hours, and
    that the planets, the Sun and the Moon, moved in the ether between the Earth
    and the stars"
    (http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Cosmology.html). Thales
    used geometry to estimate distance of a ship from shore. They believe the
    earth is spherical
    434 BCE: Navigation instruments still not in use at sea: "Sanskrit Mu'allim:
    He knows the course of the stars, both regular, accidental, and abnormal, of
    good and bad weather: he distinguishes regions of the ocean by the fish, the
    colour of the sea, the nature of the bottom, the birds of the mountains, and
    other indications. And the only aids he possesseth are his memory, helped by
    a pilot book, and a sounding lead or staff."
    Jim Thompson
    Outgoing mail scanned by Norton Antivirus
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Navigation Mailing List
    > [mailto:NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM]On Behalf Of Jean-Pierre
    > MARTIN
    > Yes, I am personnally and mainly intereested in the second point.
    > Le mercredi, 11 f?v 2004, ? 19:27 Europe/Paris, Royer, Doug a ?crit :
    > > All,looking back over the archives I've noticed some areas of the art
    > > and
    > > science of navigation haven't been discussed by the group at all.
    > > 2. Traditional native ocean or terrestrial navigation

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site