Ancient Greeks in Ionia first used GPS method to navigate
Professor Emeritus of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Cartography Department Evangelos Livieratos revealed that ancient Greeks living off the coast of Ionia in Asia Minor (what is today modern Turkey) from the city of Melitus were the among the first peoples to use stars and their relationship with the earth’s surface like a GPS system to aid them in navigating around the Earth.
|An ancient astronomer gazes at the stars, from a 19th century illustration |
Mr. Livieratos explained that the first known depiction of a map dates back to 30,000 BC and was discovered in northern Italy as a rock inscription.
"The rock inscriptions possibly portray some shacks, a curve which might be a natural barrier (mountain, forest or river) and on the other side of the curve animals”, the professor noted adding that.
"Before the satellites, for thousands of years people were doing roughly the same thing as satellites do today, using the stars. They not only used the stars, but their relationship with the earth’s surface, much like satellites do today.”
He also underlined that a couple of centuries after the Ionian Greeks used this method to navigate, ancient Greek geographers described and understood the sphere, while a physical 3-dimensional sphere with meridians and parallels was invented around the era of Hipparhcus in the 2nd Century BC.
"Ptolemy, the Greek mathematician, astronomer and geographer was the first to compile a detailed map/book of the 7,000 known places of his time and that is why he is considered the father of Geography” Mr. Livieratos added.
Source: Protothema [February 10, 2017]