- Education and Science
Collectible Antique Maps
As you may already know - I LOVE maps. I've said it before. I also love history and one reason why I love antique maps, is because they show exactly how people perceived their world in the past. Like other antiques, Antique maps can be used to decorate a home with an appreciating assets (if they are originals). They provide old world charm and add warmth to a room.
There is a certain amount of nostalgia about maps that attracts everyone. If you put a globe in a room, chances are 80% to 90% of the people that will come into that room will be drawn to the globe at some point. Antique maps and globes provide us with endless possibilities of places to visits and hint of the mysteries of our huge world.
So this lens will be a quick history of maps from ancient times to the present.
Picture Source - Wikipedia - Piri Reis map of Europe, the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa from his Kitab-i Bahriye (Book of Navigation), 1521-1525 CE
Why I don't use BC and AD
Now, some of you might also be wondering why I do not use BC and AD in my dates . Since I am no longer religious (and believe me, I was raised in a very religious family and was not permitted to leave the church until I was 19 years old), I don't like using anything referring to religion and BC and AD are both religious references. So I use the neutral dating system. BCE means Before the Common Era and CE means the Common Era.
The Nippur Map - 1400 BCE
The oldest known map ever found.
The University of Pennsylvania was excavating in Nippur (Iraq) from 1889 until 1900 and during that time they discovered thousands of clay tablets. This map may have been discovered at that time, but its importance was not recognized until quite some time later.
This artifact was on loan until 2008 to the Beijing World Art Museum for their rotating exhibit on Great Civilizations.
Babylonian Map - 600 BCE
This artifact was discovered in Iraq close to the Euphrates river in the late 1800s and first published (or written about) in 1899. It has been dated to around 600 BCE. This was the oldest known map for several decades until the Nippur map (see above) was finally published. The Babylonian Map is currently in the British Museum.
Erastosthenes' World Map 194 BCE
Eratosthenes' map of the world, originally dated approximately 194 BCE. Erastosthenes was also the man who figured out the size of the Earth by using the noon sun on the day of the summer equinox to measure shadows at both Syene and at Alexandria.
Claudius Ptolemy's World Map 150 CE
Claudius Ptolemy was a geographer, an astronomer and a mapmaker from Alexandria in Egypt. He was born around 90 CE and died in 168 CE. This version was actually a woodcut made in 1427 CE and is the earliest surviving known version of Ptolemy's map which was originally made in 150 CE.
Ptolemy also wrote the Cosmographia - a book with lists of stars with names and brightness levels (called magnitudes) - a scale that Ptolemy himself created and I believe is still used today.
Hereford Mappa Mundi 1300 CE
This is one of the earliest T-O maps still surviving. It was made around 1300 CE and can be seen at the Hereford Cathedral in Hereford, England, UK
Catalan Atlas 1375 CE
Martellus Map 1490 CE
World map of Henricus Martellus Germanus (Heinrich Hammer) made around 1490 CE
Piri Reis Map 1513 CE
This is a portolan map created by a Turkish Naval admiral named Piri Reis in 1513 CE. It is a very controversial map because the experts cannot decide if the land shown at the bottom is the Antarctica or whether it is just part of South America. The significance of this is that the Antarctica was not actually discovered and mapped until 1818 CE.
Mercator Map 1569 CE
The first ever map made with a projection that helped with navigation. Published by Gerhardus Mercator in 1569 CE. The Mercator Projection has been an essential part of cartography now, for over 400 years
Mercator's Polar Projection Map 1595 CE
Septentrionalium Terrarum descriptio - This map was published in 1595 by Rumold Mercator - son of Gerhardus Mercator (who had died in 1594).
Upside Down World Map 1979 CE
This Upside Down Map was first published in 1979. There are some places on this planet where people do grow up with a slightly different world view you know - including me!! LOL
The future of Cartography and Map Making - Mapping the galaxy.
One of my most favourite scenes in all the Star Trek movies is this one from Star Trek Generations (1994).
This scene involves Captain Picard having to discover where the Nexus is going to show up next. He orders Data to plot the projected course of the Nexus Ribbon through the galaxy - and this is done in the Stellar Cartography Department.
This scene could easily be the future of cartography. Once we have mapped our planet and the solar system, humanity will then spread out to map the galaxy.