In Greenland found amazing sundial Vikings, with which they sailed the Atlantic. Thanks to this discovery, researchers can assume that the ancient Vikings were more skillful navigators than previously thought.
"It has long been known that the Normans were great sailors. But it is now clear that they were using more sophisticated navigational tools than previously thought, "- explained one of the researchers at the University of Hungary Balaz Bernat.
Technology has long seafaring Vikings is an interesting topic for research and debate. Scientists believe that the Vikings used sophisticated solar compass to determine the north and relied on the "magic" crystal for navigation on cloudy days.
In 1948, the ruins of the Benedictine monastery on the territory of Greenland archaeologist discovered a mysterious wooden artifact. Find the shape of a semi-circular bowl, the hole in the center and zig-zag pattern on the perimeter. Furthermore, on the inner side was cut thicket several lines.
Some skeptics have argued that it is the subject of decor, but most researchers believe that this is a complex sun compass Vikings. Previously, researchers have even taken up the instrument on board the ship to check its navigation action.
But the navigational lines inscribed on the compass, were incomplete, so ancient sundial did not help to find the modern mariners north.
This fact has led scientists to believe that the compass had a more complex function — determining latitude.
"The Vikings were guided through the breadth, that is, when swimming to stay the latitude. For example, they often floated by 2.5 thousand kilometers along latitude 61 from Norway to Greenland and back. This requires a good compass or constant checking of latitude ", — said Bernath.
However, the wind and currents can easily change the motion of small Viking Ship, which is why sailors had to constantly consult with the latitude to stay on course. Arab navigators learned the breadth of the stars, and the Vikings sailed near the Arctic Circle, where the summer sun never sets. Therefore, they had to be guided by the position of the sun, not the stars.
A team of researchers have found out that at noon, when the sun is at its zenith at the compass shadow falls between the two lines drawn on the cup. Thus, the ancient mariners could measure the length of the midday shade and determine latitude.
However, even if the compass helped pinpoint the latitude and longitude, it is now virtually impossible to verify.
Translation Sergei Vasilenkova
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