It’s recently been suggested that the Vikings made a sun-reading compass that could also be used after the sun went down.
The Vikings may have a reputation for being masters of plundering, but it seems they also had a knack for building helpful and innovative tools.
It’s recently been suggested that they made a sun-reading compass that could also be used after the sun went down.
That was concluded recently when an 11th century navigational tool
discovered in 1948 got a closer lookover by a group of researchers in Hungary.
Only a fragment of the compass still exists, meaning that other than the shape of the disc and its markings, there’s no definitive evidence of how it was used, and some researchers believe it to be nothing more than a decoration.
Nonetheless, the team was able to formulate and test a theory that that the compass was far more complex and functional than thought.
They introduced the possibility that the disc had unrecovered add-on equipment and among it may have been a pair of crystals.
Those crystals, also called sunstones, say the researchers, are able to catch and reflect enough of the twilight glow to make post sundown navigation possible.
Along the high latitude paths the Vikings frequently travelled, that nighttime glimmer is sometimes present from dusk until dawn.