A mysterious sundial may be the key to Viking navigations

A mysterious sundial may be the key to Viking navigations

A new research suggests that a viking sundial found in Greenland, it helped ancient sailors navigate across the Atlantic.

The study shows that the Nordic raids might have been even more impressive than previously thought, aided by instruments of a great degree of sophistication. The how vikings their navigations have been the subject of study for years. Scholars believe that they used sun compasses to know exactly where north was.

During the year 1948, in a fjord in Uunartoq (Greenland) under the ruins of a Benedictine monastery, an archaeologist discovered a mysterious wooden object. The object, with the figure of a half circle, had a hole in the center and engravings along its perimeter accompanied by marked lines on the inside of the base.

Some limited themselves to thinking that it was a mere object of decoration, unlike the researchers who they thought they found a viking sun compass subsequently testing its use in navigation. However, the navigation lines drawn on the compass were incomplete so the object showed imperfections when looking for North. It was without directions around one degree which could cause them to navigate for days in the wrong direction.

The Meteorological phenomena they diverted sailors from the correct path, for which they were frequently forced to check the course. While the Arabs used the stars to guide them during their navigations, the Vikings sailed near the Arctic Circle so it was necessary to use another method to make their trips.

The group of researchers verified that at noon, when the sun is at or near the zenith, a shadow was projected between two lines of the compass by which, thanks to its length, it allowed them to know the direction they were taking or where they were found.

But although longitude and latitude measurements are exact, it has not yet been possible to verify with certainty that it is a compass.

I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for that… History.


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