Bearing-dials found in Greenland, Denmark and unknown place.
A comparison of two approximately similar bearing-dials in existence, an early one found in Greenland (Vebaek 1948) and thr next with unknown finding place (the pictures at left and in the middle below) are showing that they are identical in shape but differ in details, and clearly reveals that the dials are carved consciously and not broken. The patterns on both sides and on the edges are showing us the way the bearing-dials are used and in which geographical areas. The patterns are also showing us the meridians they have used and in which geographical areas they have sailed and stayed.

Examples of bearing-dials used by Vikings and other Norsemen for the mapping of special selected geographical areas. The first two - almost identicall dials - were used for sailing between Greenland, Iceland and Vinland. The third bearing-dial has been used for mapping Zealand (Sjælland) in Denmark. The pictures below are showing differences on a subset of the compas card and other vital places on the bearing-dial.

Experiments and using the bearing-dials directly in the sun for measuring purposes, are showing us that the bearing-dials have been used as they were discovered, i.e. they are not broken. The scratches on the reverse are containing vital information for analysing purposes.

Materials: Larch and sandstone.

C-14 for the wood used: calibr. +- 1 stand. dev.: 895-1010 AD

 

 

 

 

Photos (except the upper left from "Navigationens historie I", Thirslund 1987, p.38) are copyright 2001 - 2006 Erik Torpegaard, and more detailed examples can be produced. The photo on the left shows one of the original bearing-dials exhibited from The National Museum of Denmark. The photo (item) is similar to the upper left item and the compass card on the left below. A larger photo (147KB) of the upper part of the early bearing-dial here or the lower part here.

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