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Questions tagged [navigation]

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8
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3answers
474 views

Why Were Madagascar and New Zealand Discovered So Late?

Considering how exploration over long distances into the unknown has been a part of human nature right at the beginning, it's surprising that some fairly large places have been discovered relatively ...
2
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0answers
87 views

Which prayer did sailors in Russian America expect to hear?

Father Ioann Veniaminov (Saint Innocent) was a Russian Orthodox priest who ministered in Russian America. Leaving Sitka, he recorded the following in his journal: Tuesday, June 30, 1836. Having ...
20
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3answers
2k views

Did Egyptians circumnavigate Africa in three years during Nekau's reign?

I read in an old High School-level History book* that during the reign of Nekau (or Necho II), during the Saita Period, someone called "Hamon" circumnavigated Africa in three years. However the book ...
11
votes
3answers
667 views

How did Bligh navigate during his open boat voyage after losing The Bounty?

How did Bligh navigate during his open boat voyage after losing The Bounty? Did any of the men have previous experience in these areas? What did he have at his disposal to aid in navigation?
3
votes
1answer
934 views

How did sailing technology improve during the Age of Sail? [closed]

Wikipedia article on the Middle Passage says: while an average transatlantic journey of the early 16th century lasted several months, by the 19th century the crossing often required fewer than six ...
4
votes
4answers
265 views

When did we find out time of day changes with longitude?

I know that Greenwich mean time was established in 1675, as an aid to navigation. Portuguese and Spanish navigators in the 15th century also appeared to be aware of the usefulness of timekeeping for ...
4
votes
0answers
191 views

When did women start sailing (as passengers) on ocean-going ships in large numbers?

My understanding is that women sailed on sail powered ships (caravels) such as the Mayflower. On the other hand, I have read few accounts of women sailing on earlier, oar-driven ships such as triremes ...
56
votes
4answers
11k views

Why did Columbus cross the mid-Atlantic instead of exploring from Greenland?

Greenland was known to Europe since long before 1492. In fact, Lief Erikson reached modern Canadian lands around the year 1000, coming from Greenland. That journey was forgotten, but he chose a ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Why did Xerxes need a canal across Mount Athos peninsula?

As a preparation to his invasion of Greece, Xerxes ordered to dig a canal across Mount Athos peninsula. Digging this canal took 3 years. When I look at the map I see that this peninsula is a part of ...
5
votes
1answer
549 views

How did Vasco da Gama know about the Southern Cross?

It is said that the precession cycle of the Earth's axis takes about 26,000 years to complete. It is also said that the ancient Greeks could see Crux (aka the Southern Cross) from where they lived. It ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Was it possible to navigate a river against the current on a medieval boat?

I'm aware of the historically importance of rivers for earlier civilizations. Some of the most significant economies of the past were built on the bank of a river. I would like to know if: Was it ...
6
votes
3answers
747 views

Why is there a statue of Francis Drake in Coquimbo, Chile?

The English buccaneer Sir Francis Drake had a rather hostile relationship with the Spanish Empire and its colonies, including Chile. As quoted in Wikipedia, [Francis Drake] sacked the port of ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did it take so long for humanity to be able to cross the oceans?

Caravels were a key invention that allowed Iberian Peninsula people to sail from Europe to America. But why it took so long for this to happen? Which problems had to be solved to make that possible? ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

How accurately could ancient astronomers find latitude and longitude?

In classical times, say, 200 BC to 400 AD, how accurately could an astronomer determine their latitude and longitude? Could they find their position to the nearest degree? Minute? Second? I'm ...