Please do not remove, these are not just images of the compass. At the risk of making a fool of myself: is there any chance that the line "[i]n China it seems that the convention was that the compass spoon (they used a spoon instead of a needle)", taken from History of the navigational compass, is not a vandalism? — Itai (talk) , 25 November 2006 (UTC) Since the Chinese used the compass in navigation, they had a practical mariner's compass.It may be possible to figure out the relative quality of early compasses, but I'm not able to do it.To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
It is first mentioned by a northern European, not a southern European (i.e.Even the best research on this would likely be on shakey ground anyways.- Ravedave , 26 August 2005 (UTC)I suspect it is a contensious, depending who you talk too.It might be good to frame it as such and list the various theories, rather than declare definitive knowledge.Stbalbach , 26 August 2005 (UTC) Real apologies for this.I suspect it may have been me who changed the sentence (about the Arabs and the Europeans) although frankly it was a long time ago and I can't remember.In any case: the source I may (or may not) have used is as follows: 'The mariner's compass [...] was [first] deployed in Chinese ships around 1090...was...culmination of a series of Chinese innovations that stemmed back to 83 BC when crude compasses were invented, and even as far back as the Fourth Century BC, when .... The Italians merely borrowed the compass, which had diffused across to ... Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in Ancient and Early Medieval Times (Beirut, Khatats, 1963) pp108-109..I've been shopping for a compass, and many are described as "lensatic compasses" -- in particular, all military compasses I've found. Billlion , (UTC) The section about using compass contains two images that are important part of the explanation.Any literature material on this topic has these two illustrations in one or another form and is not understandable without them.The closeness in time between European and Chinese sources can be explained that the 11th century seems about the time when steel needles became available in Europe.Before steel needles, it would have been hard to make practical compasses.