Earliest known astrolabe has recently been identified and excavated from the wreck site of a Portuguese Armada Ship. The ship was part of a Vasco da Gama's second voyage to India in 1502-1503. The identification process was through a laser imaging technique described in a publication by Mearns and Jason Warnett and Mark Williams of WMG at the University of Warwick in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.
"Using this 3D scanning technology has enabled us to confirm the identity of the earliest known astrolabe, from this historians and scientists can determine more about the history and how ships navigated,” says Prof Mark Williams from WMG, University of Warwick. “Technology like this betters our understanding of how the disc would have worked back in the 15th century. Using technology normally applied within engineering projects to help shed insight into such a valuable artefact was a real privilege.”
Source: Science Daily