• Highlights Tour 4


Planispheric Astrolabe

Find this object in the Science in Art Gallery on Floor 2

Astrolabes were first used by the ancient Greeks and later significantly developed by Arab scientists. They were used as navigational tools, and in particular helped pilgrims to chart their journeys to Mecca, the holiest city of Islam. The elegant designs and craftsmanship make them highly prized as works of art. This astrolabe was made in Iraq at the time of the famed ‘House of Wisdom’, the Abbasid centre of scientific, mathematical, philosophical and artistic learning in medieval Baghdad.

MW.343.2007, Brass, Abbasid Iraq, 10th century CE