World's oldest maritime astrolabe found in a shipwreck off Oman's coast -commanded by Vasco De Gama

Since the period of 15th Century is marked with extensive overseas exploration by adventurous explorers it  emerged as a powerful factor in the spread of  European culture across the globe.

The discovery of the sea route to India by the Portuguese in 1498 gave a boost to  global exploration. Encouraged by the sponsorship of Prince Henry, the Portuguese began systematically exploring the Atlantic coast of Africa from 1418. In the 15th century, there were too many expeditions to explore many places the coast of Africa. In 1488, Bartolomeu Dias reached the Indian Ocean. With this achievement, a new wave of hope spread among the explorers.. After him  Portuguese captain, Vasco da Gama, after a long and most difficult sea journey 10 Months after they set out for the journey finally neachea place calle Kappadu near Calicut in 1498,. After this journey Vasco de Gama with more determination and trust sailed to India to establish their monopoly in trade. 

Some years ago - March 2016  the World's oldest maritime astrolabe (to find direction using stars) was found in shipwreck which, it is believed,  to have guided Portuguese explorers on voyages to India in the 16th century. The major discovery  marked the culmination of an 18-year archaeological search and recovery effort led by self-described "shipwreck hunter" David Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries Ltd.  It is a known fact Astrolabes have been used since ancient times by the Arabs, Iranians and Indians.

World's oldest maritime

Above image: An astrolabe recovered from Esmeralda's wreck; National Museum of Oman, 2016 photo............

Marine archaeologists  and historians were surprised about the discovery of the world's oldest navigational tool -Astrolabe off the coast of Oman   in the shipwreck  According to Marine archaeologists and other marine engineering researchers the instrument was once primarily used by mariners to measure the altitude of the Sun during their voyages to avoid getting lost on the high seas. .The daring Portuguese exploders when crossing the dangerous seas they not only relied on their maritime skills and weather patterns, they to a large extend had faith in the Astrolabe 

World's oldest maritime astrolabe

The  astrolabe dates back to 1495 and 1500 and this one seems to have safely guided the  Portuguese explorers and adventurers on perilous voyages to their prime destination - India  in the 16th century.

Portuguese ship

1568 CE Portuguese ship Esmeralda

Esmeralda was a Portuguese carrack (Portuguese: nau) that sank  during a storm in the Indian Ocean  in May 1503 off the coast of Oman as part of Vasco da Gama's 1502 Armada to India while commanded by da Gama's maternal uncle Vicente SodrĂ©.The ship sank in the waters off of Al Hallaniyah Island in the Arabian Sea. . The boat called the Esmeralda, was part of a fleet led by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the first person to sail directly from Europe to India.World's oldest maritime astrolabe found in shipwreck........................  

arrival of Vasco De gama1498 (drawn 1900 Gameiro)Calicut, India

site of shipwreck 1503 Oman

The Portuguese explorers developed the mariners' version of Astrolabe by using the altitudes of the sun or stars to determine the latitude of a ship at sea.  The astrolabe carries  two stamps on it, the first one is of the Portuguese coat of arms and the second one has the personal emblem of King Manuel I of Portugal, who came to the throne in October 1495. Made of bronze disc the maritime astrolabe is 17.5-centimetre wide in diameter and is less than 2 mm thick.

''Astrolabes are comparatively rare, and while others have been cataloged, this is the earliest find by several decades.''