Viking Sundials Research Paper

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Although the compass was not an available resource, sundials were. Sundials originated from Egypt in 1500 B.C and since then they have been used throughout the world to keep track of the time (Sundial). For the Vikings purpose, the dial was used to depict the time of day, which could then show the direction one was sailing based on the suns location and movement throughout the sky. As the celestial navigation relied on a particular setting, as did the sundials. Without the sun shinning the dial would be unable to cast a shadow pointing to a particular time, therefore the direction could not be found. Over time a solution was developed to solve the dependence on the sun as well.
A highly debated topic in the archeological community is the use of the sunstone. The Norse sagas written on the tales of the
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Because the idea of a sunstone was presented through these sagas, it is inevitable to question the accuracy of this concept. One may easily believe it to be an untrue account or an exaggeration of a story, created to glorify the technological advances made by the Vikings or depict them as magical beings. While some archeologists believe that because the stone is mentioned it holds some historical relevance and value, and that evidence is present to prove this. Thorkild Ramskou, a Danish archeologist believed the stone in question to be Iceland spar or cordierite (Garcia). The Vikings that discovered North America could easily access either stone, as they are native to their region, specifically Iceland. Each of the stones could potentially have been a useful tool to the Vikings when neither the sun nor stars were present. The Iceland spar and cordierite have the ability to capture polarized sunlight and reflect a double image that is moved in order to find the sun (Garcia). This double image of light is then

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