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Astrolabe Recovered From Portuguese Shipwreck

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Portugal bronze astrolabeCOVENTRY, ENGLAND—According to a BBC News report, an astrolabe dating to between 1495 and 1500 has been recovered from a shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Oman. Mariners used such navigational instruments to measure the altitude of the sun. This astrolabe was recovered from the Esmeralda, part of a Portuguese fleet led by explorer Vasco da Gama, who was the first person to sail directly from Europe to India. Laser scanning of the instrument, conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick, revealed navigation markings. David Mearns of Blue Water Recovery said the instrument had to have been made before 1502, when the ship left Lisbon. It also bears a Portuguese coat of arms, and the personal emblem of Don Manuel I, who became King of Portugal in 1495. For more, go to “Is it Esmeralda?

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