The Caravel and the Impact of New Technologies on Transportation Systems

A Caravel

Transportation systems have evolved since ancient time. This continual transformation of the ways in which humans travel and transport goods is often closely tied to technological advances in the field of transportation. In many ways, the culture of a civilization is heavily influenced by the transportation technologies available to it. However, the relationship goes the other way as well. The transportation technologies present in a society are also often determined by the culture of that society.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, an iconic ship known as the Caravel largely dominated the sea-faring industries of Southwestern Europe. Although the exact origin of this ship is still debated, it had been used as an offshore fishing vessel by the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula since at least the 1200’s. The ship featured a strong Moorish influence, and its design, at least in part, may have been passed from the Islamic body of knowledge to the Western Christian societies of Spain and Portugal. This is quite possible because, as one author points out (see links below), Medieval Islamic society contributed many advances to the fields of geography, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. These important theoretical discoveries would later contribute to the success of European seafaring by forming the foundation of cutting-edge navigational techniques and other technologies.

The Caravel was a relatively small ship, especially by modern standards. The bottom of the ship protruded below the surface of the water by only a small distance, making it an extremely maneuverable watercraft. For much of its life, the Caravel featured triangular “lateen” sails that, combined with its eminent maneuverability, allowed it to sail into the wind using a zigzagging technique known as “beating to windward.” The Spanish and Portuguese soon recognized the potential of this ship, and transformed it from a simple offshore fishing vessel to the backbone of the European Age of Exploration. With the addition of square sails (to provide increased power when sailing with the wind) and other minor changes, the Caravel soon became the ship of choice for many explorers. It has been suggested that two of Columbus’s ships, the Niña and the Pinta, were Caravels optimized for transatlantic exploration.

Clearly, the Caravel revolutionized European transportation. This technology made it possible for European explorers, fishermen, and merchants to “expand their horizons,” by providing the ability to travel further, faster. One could argue that it played a major role in the rapid colonization of the New World.

However, the inverse is also true. To a large extent, the success of the Caravel was due to navigational techniques brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors, combined with the European desire for political, economic, religious, and scientific expansion.

This dichotomy holds true for many transportation-related technologies. Railroads are built to service existing towns, but the route itself often determines the development of future towns. Military conflict has served as a catalyst for the development of many advances in aviation technology that have later spilled over into the public sector. It is clear that a society’s culture and its transportation technologies are very much linked. Engineers must keep this in mind when developing new technologies for transportation systems. When designing part of a transportation system, it is important both to take inspiration from society and to recognize the changes that that technology will have upon society.

 

———————————————————————————————————————

 

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/01George/caravela/htmls/Caravel%20History.htm

http://nautarch.tamu.edu/shiplab/01George/index.htm

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/page/c/caravel.shtml

 

 

7,732 thoughts on “The Caravel and the Impact of New Technologies on Transportation Systems

  1. Thank you for the post, I feel you have stated some very interesting points. This was a great and insightful post. This was exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Please take a look at uk sizes to us

  2. Which did not leave a question in anyone’s mind for a long time when Belle Adirap, Tac Pharanyu’s young wife, came in to answer clearly that “There is no one in the whole class. It’s a condo at home. The เวสต์แฮม ยูไนเต็ด
    room over there belonged to the deceased great-grandfather. with maid’s room Next is Grandpa Yai’s room, which has been staying for a while, and another room is a storage room.”

  3. After being quarantined at home for several months and when activities has been unlocked The Logan Lucky (2017)
    hero of the superstar Nadech Kugimiya wants to go on a chill trip. With a private car, hand in hand with his brother heading to Koh Chang, Trat Province, of course, going to the sea. The activities of wading men like Nadech will not miss the water sports, surfing boarding that he is extremely determined.

  4. From the photo in Jopee S.lui’s Facebook page that made many fans scream very hard because our hero Nadech showed a bundle of chest panels. Comes with a tight six pack Surfing in the middle Baby Driver (2017)
    of the sea Standing cool on the board and many other scenes that are very touching. How can you not scream like this?

  5. Several benchmark refinancing rates fell today. Average rates fell for both 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate refinancing. At the same time, average rates for 10-year fixed refinancings also fell. Although refinance rates are constantly changing, they have been quite low recently. For this reason, now is an excellent time for homeowners to secure a good refinance rate. Before refinancing, consider your personal needs and financial situation and shop around with several lenders to find the right one for you. read more – https://10bestbuy.com/

  6. The moment of the new year is quite important in every culture. Iran is no different. We’ll be visiting a local family. Sit around haft seen table, wear traditional clothes, read poems and new year prayers until that moment arrives. Then we’ll have the most delicious Nowruz dish called Sabzi Polo which is herbed rice with fresh fish. Then we’ll visit elders of the family to hear their many memories of Nowruz in Iran.We’ll be heading to Isfahan. The first spot we’ll visit is the Naqsh-E Jahan square full of tourists from around the world and also locals traveling from different parts of Iran. It’s no wonder there is so many people visiting this site during this time. The beautiful architecture of the buildings around, the many handicraft local shops and the fountain with the plants in the middle of the square makes it a perfect place to hang out in Nowruz time. Then we’ll be visiting a local family again to experience the differences among the different regions’ Nowruz traditions and how they do “Eyd Didani” and all.
    IranAmaze

  7. DMT is a powerful hallucinogenic drug with a long history of use in spiritual practices. When inhaled, DMT FOR SALE causes changes to perception, mood, and thoughts that leave users feeling as if they’ve been transported to an alternate reality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *