Chinese mariner's compass with south ideograph marked in red
Chinese mariner's compass with south ideograph marked in red, unsigned, China, 1825-1875
The first Chinese record of a mariner's compass dates from the 12th century, some 100 years before its introduction in the Mediterranean. Though a knowledge of magnetism in China is supposed to date back to early times, the compass was never highly developed in China, and simple compasses like this one were still in use aboard junks well into the 20th century.
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