Wayfinding Through the Stars: The Science and Craft of Medieval Navigation in the Indian Ocean
Paper by Juan Acevedo
Given at the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts on May 25, 2022
Navigation was always counted prominently among the ‘sciences’ and arts of traditional cultures. In this talk we will see why, and we will find to what extent, if at all, navigation might have a place among the other arts and crafts in our current understanding of the terms. We will look, as a case study, at the practices of medieval Indian Ocean pilots, and quite particularly at their sophisticated usage of the lunar mansions (manazil al-qamar), and stars in general, for making their way through the ocean.
Juan Acevedo is a post-doctoral researcher with the ERC Rutter Project at the Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia, University of Lisbon.