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Old 26-03-2016, 08:55   #46
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Re: Ancient navigation

"... Though he had no previous knowledge of writing or mapmaking, Tupaia drew a chart of the Pacific that encompassed every major group in Polynesia and extended more than 4,000 kilometres from the Marquesas to Rotuma and Fiji..."

Some time back three Russians in a small boat were found heading from France to England "navigating" by a road map taken from a road atlas. I think this map was somewhat more precise than Tupaia's map. I am not sure these guys will go down in navigation history. BTW among the many items left by Cook (some sources say well over 10000 charts, maps, drawings, books and artefacts, Tupaia's legendary map has never been found. That's what is making it legendary.

Nobody is taking from that guy his talents as a translator, interpreter or intermediary. He sure understood his home waters better than newcomer foreigners. But this does not make one a navigator.

Cruising does not make one a sailor, sailing does not make one a navigator. Navigating does.

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Old 26-03-2016, 09:06   #47
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Re: Ancient navigation

I always found stick charts to be pretty interesting works of art onto themselves.

Polynesian Stick Charts
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Old 26-03-2016, 09:14   #48
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Re: Ancient navigation

1.To Navigate: to move on, over, or through (water, air, or land) in a ship or aircraft: to navigate a river.


2. to direct or manage (a ship, aircraft, or guided missile) on its course.

3. to ascertain or plot and control the course or position of (a ship, aircraft, etc.).

4. to pass over (the sea or other body of water), as a ship does.
Full Definition of navigate

nav·i·gat·ednav·i·gat·ing
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 : to travel by water : sail
  3. 2 : to steer a course through a medium; specifically : to operate an airplane
  4. 3 : get around, move
  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 a : to sail over, on, or through b : to make one's way over or through : traverse
  7. 2 a : to steer or manage (a boat) in sailing b : to operate or control the course of (as an airplane)
These are the two different dictionary definitions that I could find. I have a much simpler definition for my own use, which is "To get to where you want to go without sinking the ship or getting dead, to know where you are and how to get where you want to go, without killing yourself or the crew."

We once gave a ride to an old guy from Aritika to Tahiti and he was able to tell us what course to hold, and predict when we would get there with great accuracy, so he qualifies in my book.

barnakiel, perhaps you could enlighten us as to your definition of a navigator and how the old Polynesians don't qualify under your definition.
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Old 26-03-2016, 09:31   #49
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pirate Re: Ancient navigation

They didn't have chartplotters and gps..
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Old 26-03-2016, 10:04   #50
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Re: Ancient navigation

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They didn't have chartplotters and gps..



Bet Boatie knows how to use a Kamal.
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Old 26-03-2016, 10:07   #51
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Re: Ancient navigation

what you dont hear in these legends and hybperbole is all the ploly's that dissapeared. Quite a few did. Also the Polys didn't travel all over the place. They had specific local trading routes and knowledge. More myth.
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Old 26-03-2016, 10:54   #52
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Re: Ancient navigation

You also need to be a navigator to travel known routes. It isn't like a trail through the woods. Even if you are in sight of land the whole time, which the Polynesians weren't, you still need to navigate to get where you are going, and navigating is not simply the ability to plot a course. You are managing the safe passage of vessel and crew from where ever you start to where you want to go.
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Old 26-03-2016, 16:23   #53
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Re: Ancient navigation

Have you read the book Barnakiel. David Lewis reckons they were navigators and he achieved more navigational and sailing success than all the experts here, so you know what, I think I will go with him. As for this -

Quote:
He sure understood his home waters better than newcomer
Seriously - the whole of Polynesia is home waters?
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Old 26-03-2016, 16:41   #54
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Re: Ancient navigation

Just stumbled across this with an ancient navigation search:

"The Discovery that Revealed Ancient Humans Navigated the Seas 130,000 Years Ago"

The Discovery that Revealed Ancient Humans Navigated the Seas 130,000 Years Ago | Ancient Origins

"It was a few years ago that a Greek-American archaeological team made a startling discovery – they found the oldest indications of seafaring and navigation in the world, in an area called Plakia on Crete Island in Greece. It is an incredibly important discovery that is given little attention, despite the fact that it reached the top ten discoveries of 2010. Their research is forcing scholars to rethink the maritime capabilities of early human and pre-human cultures. "

{more at the link}

Seems a bit of a woo site, but it's amazing what you can find on woo sites now and again.
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Old 26-03-2016, 16:44   #55
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Re: Ancient navigation

"We the Navigators" is a fascinating read. http://www.amazon.com/We-Navigators-.../dp/0824815823
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:08   #56
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Have you read the book Barnakiel. David Lewis reckons they were navigators and he achieved more navigational and sailing success than all the experts here, so you know what, I think I will go with him. As for this -

Seriously - the whole of Polynesia is home waters?
Thor Heyerdahl discovered ancient pyramids in places like Canary Islands and Mauritius. I happen to know both places, ask any villager they will tell you that's how they used to deposit field stones.

You can write a book about anything trying to make your point. Only because a book exists does not imply it proves anything. Some very old, very venerated books are a point in case.

I treat books by people like Lewis, Daniken, Heyerdahl et all as a good read for teenagers (I read them all when I was a kid), not as a source of well found information on what people 1000 years ago could and could not do well.

Lewis, if I remember well, was a doctor of medicine. Should I trust in health advice from mechanical engineers then?

Many words have broad meanings. Especially when used by lay men. I give anybody the poetic license to call anybody a navigator. This, however, does not imply I have to follow suit.

As far as claiming that Lewis "... achieved more navigational and sailing success than all the experts here ..." here again I give you your freedom to define the words like success and experts for your own home use. The way I see it, there are many very experienced sailors among us who sailed very many sea miles without kicking up too much publicity fuss. Fact, not all of them have written books, hence, by your definitions, they do not count as successful navigators.

Otherwise wine and flowers attached even though I can't spell the emoticons ;-) I am glad we have opposite views as otherwise this forum would wither and die.

b.
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:16   #57
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pirate Re: Ancient navigation

Always remember.. Histories are written by the victors and many civilisations and religions have been exorcised from the earth over the millennia.. some are only recently coming to light.
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:20   #58
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Re: Ancient navigation

I consider this one of the best articles on Pacific ancient navigation. How the Voyage of the Kon-Tiki Misled the World About Navigating the Pacific | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian


What I found interesting is that the geometry of the canoes that defines the angle from the center bow to the ama bows is critical. Anthropologists would never likely figure this out without living practitioners to explain.
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:48   #59
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Re: Ancient navigation

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I consider this one of the best articles on Pacific ancient navigation. How the Voyage of the Kon-Tiki Misled the World About Navigating the Pacific | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian
------
Even Barnakiel might get something out of reading that lol.

For those who are interested in the modern day travels of Hokule'a (minus arguments) I've started a new thread "The Hokule'a Circumnavigation".
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Old 26-03-2016, 20:36   #60
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Re: Ancient navigation

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Rubbish. Actually try reading "we The Navigators" by Dr David Lewis about how the Polynesians NAVIGATED. As for your contention that they lived inland and didn't navigate, are you just inventing stuff now. How the hell do you think the Maroi got to NZ about 800 years before Lt Cook.

You could also try reading a number of books by Sir Tom Davis, NASA Scientist, Cook Islands Prime minister and author.

for example VAKA ....
This is exactly right. I have a copy of "We, The Navigators" onboard, and it makes absolutely plain that the polynesians were sophisticated, extremely knowledgeable NAVIGATORS who used many techniques SYSTEMATICALLY including a deep understanding of astronomy and the sidereal compass, currents, wave dynamics etc etc. to navigate their way precisely across and around the Pacific Ocean LONG BEFORE the word "Navigator" could have applied in anything like so precise terms to the Europeans, and more effectively than the Europeans of Cook's age by and large.

Barnakiel, on this one you are completely wrong and I don't know why you are suggesting such culturally biased nonsense…
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