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Guinness World Records has independently certified, an astrolabe excavated at the site of the wreck of a Portuguese Navy ship that was part of the Vasco da Gama's second trip to India between 1502 and 1503 as the oldest in the world, and has separately certified the bell of a ship recovered from the same shipwreck site as the oldest in the world.
This is the first time a Guinness Records has been awarded to archeology.
The Sodré astrolabe, What's your name, must have been manufactured between 1496 and 1501 and it is unique compared to all other astrolabes found in being the only one that can be verified by bearing the royal coat of arms of Portugal.
This verified astrolabe, fills the chronological gap in the development of these instruments, believing that it is the transitional object between the classical planispheric astrolabe and the wheel-type astrolabe that began to be used sometime before 1517.
The astrolabe was analyzed by a team at WMG using a Nikon laser scanner, which revealed a series of 18 scale marks spaced at regular intervals along the tip of the disk.
Professor Mark Williams of WMG, University of Warwick, explained that: “The use of this 3D scanning technology has allowed us to confirm the identity of the first known astrolabe and, from this, historians and scientists will be able to determine and obtain more data on the history of navigation and on how ships navigated”.
The ship's bell is also the oldest known
The ship's bell found in the same shipwreck has also been considered the oldest found, but the Guinness Record certificate presents a misprint, dating it to the year 1498 BC.
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