# 20 Fascinating Ancient Maps

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Works of art in and of themselves, these ancient maps reveal a great deal more than the geographical knowledge of our ancestors. They tell stories of war and triumph, reveal myths and biases, and document modes of thought that have long been obsolete.

The Island of California

Creator: Joan Vinckeboons
Date: Around 1650
Why it’s cool: Believe it or not, explorers believed California was an island for a very long time and this map depicts that assumption. It would take over 50 years after the creation of this map before it was confirmed that California is indeed attached to the mainland of America.

Map of the Battle of Catalan

Creator: Unknown
Date: 19th Century
Why it’s cool: Western students are taught little of South America’s struggle for independence from the European powers. This map depicts the Battle of Catalan, January 4, 1817, in which the Portuguese Army, operating from southern Brazil, defeated forces led by José Gervasio Artigas, the leader in the struggle for Uruguayan independence.

The Game of France

Creator: Pierre Duval
Date: 1659
Why it’s cool: A chutes-and-ladders game made up of 63 squares, each representing a French province, the game offers insight into the clichés and stereotypes that Parisians applied to the French provinces. Brittany is noted for its debauchery, Tours for its lovely avenues, Forez for its knives and scissors, and Ponthieu as a theater of operations for the king’s army.

Clark’s Map of 1810

Creator: William Clark
Date: 1810
Why it’s cool: We’ve all heard the story of Lewis and Clark, but it’s not often we take a look at their actual handy work. Clark’s map served as a valuable guide for trappers, traders, scientists, and adventurers, as well as shaped, for more than a quarter century, how Americans understood the geography of the American West.

Map of the Attack and the Taking of the Island of Grenada

Creator: Pierre Ozanne
Date: 1779
Why it’s cool: This elegant, well-executed French military map of the vicinity of St. George’s and the harbor depicts the July 1779 French attack on British-held Grenada. The map includes coastline, coastal features, anchorages, a grid of St. George’s, other settlements, British batteries and fortifications, roads, and pictorial representations of vegetation, cultivated fields, and relief.

Journey and Life of the Patriarch Abraham

Creator: Tilemann Stella
Date: 1590
Why it’s cool: A figure that looms large in multiple religions, this map traces Abraham’s journey to the Holy Land from the land of his birth, identified in the Bible as Ur of the Chaldees. The main map shows places in the Holy Land identified with Abraham, and is framed with colored illustrations of scenes from Abraham’s long and eventful life.

Map of Venice

Creator: Wagner & Debes
Date: 1886
Why it’s cool: This high quality map was included in guide books for wealthy tourists in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It displays in great detail the canals and streets of Venice, which have changed little to this day.

Belgium as a Lion

Creator: Jodocus Hondius
Date: 1611
Why it’s cool: What’s more badass than a map of Belgium? Why a map of Belgium shaped like a lion. In the 16th and 17th centuries, maps of the Low Countries frequently were drawn in the form of a lion, known by its Latin designation, Leo Belgicus. Symbols of Dutch patriotism, these maps often appeared in 17th-century Dutch paintings, hanging on the walls of inns or private homes, as in Jan Vermeer’s The Painter and His Studio.

Plan for the Improvement and Beautification of the City of Paris

Creator: Charles de Wailly
Date: 1789
Why it’s cool: One of the first examples of urban planning, de Wailly envisioned a profound remaking of the entire Parisian landscape. His plan included laying out large new avenues, constructing public squares, erecting monuments, providing more housing, conjoining the city’s islands (Cité, Saint-Louis, and Louviers), and improving the flow of the Seine. De Wailly planned not only to beautify the city, but to maximize the efficiency of urban space.

Maps of Bermuda, Iceland, Jan Mayen Island, and Newfoundland

Creator: Vincenzo Coronelli
Date: 1692
Why it’s cool: Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718) was one of the most important figures in the history of Western cartography. Although best known for his globes, he also produced numerous maps and atlases. These maps of four North Atlantic islands appear on a single plate in his Corso geografico universale, a two-volume work published in 1692. The map of “Iceland” is erroneous, and is based on a claim by the Venetian Nicolò Zeno, later discredited, that around 1380 he undertook a voyage to the northern seas where he found a large island that he called Frislandia. The map of Newfoundland (Isola di Terra Nuova) correctly notes its discovery in 1596 by John Cabot, a citizen of Venice, and his son Sebastian.

New Atlas of China, Chinese Tartary and Tibet

Creator: Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville
Date: 1737
Why it’s cool: D’Anville’s maps of China were based on a survey of the Chinese empire that was ordered by the emperor in 1708 and carried out by the Chinese, but under the supervision of Jesuit priests resident in China. The detail about the interior of China was far superior to any previous Western map or atlas. D’Anville’s work remained a standard Western source for the geography of China and adjacent regions until well into the 19th century, when it finally was superseded by more accurate maps.

Assault and Seige of the Fortified City of Khodzhend

Assault and Seige of the Fortified City of Khodzhend

Creator: FIlippov
Date: 1866
Why it’s cool: This map, from a drawing by a non-commissioned topographer identified only as Fillipov, provides valuable detail on the spatial arrangement of this historic city on the Syr Darya River, including the relation of its citadel to surrounding structures, as well as the wall and gates that enclosed the city. Also depicted in various colors are gardens, vegetable plots, pasturage, and cotton fields.

Palestine, Tribes, and Jerusalem

Creator: Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville
Date: 1783
Why it’s cool: This map of Palestine was part of d’Anville’s attempt to re-map the lands of the Old Testament. It displays insets of the city of Jerusalem, the territories of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and the locations of the region’s cities in relation to each other.

British Empire Throughout the World

Creator: John Bartholomew
Date: 1850
Why it’s cool: A note at the top states: “The British Possessions are engraved in a bolder character and coloured Red.” The use of red or pink for this purpose became common practice in the Victorian age. The map is also framed by idealized images of friendly encounters between British colonists and indigenous inhabitants in four different parts of the globe: Australia, North America, British Asia and the East Indian Islands, and the Cape Colony and Southern Africa.

Great Trading Routes of the Sahara

Creator: Edouard Blanc
Date: 1890
Why it’s cool: n articles about his work, Blanc stressed the importance of identifying “natural” geographic routes that would connect French colonial possessions in west Africa, such as Senegal, to Algeria in north Africa, and link the Mediterranean coast to Sudan and central Africa. Blanc based his maps not only on his own travels but also on nearly a century of reports from European travelers dating back to the Englishman W. G. Browne’s 1793 voyage to Darfur. Features identified on the map include dunes, rivers, and dry valleys as well as Arab caravan routes, colonial railways, and roads.

Modern and Completely Correct Map of the Entire World

Creator: Joan Blaeu
Date: 1659
Why it’s cool: Modern at the time, yes. Completely correct, not so much. The map reveals the limitations of knowledge regarding the west coast of North America, the Arctic, and New Holland (present-day Australia).

Ethnographic Map of the Balkan Peninsula

Creator: Jovan Cvijic
Date: 1918
Why it’s cool:Cvijic’s map is a testament to the ethnic, religious, and national diversity of the Balkans, but it provides little sense of the demographic damage that the war wreaked on the peninsula, where an estimated one-quarter of the prewar populations of Serbia and Montenegro were killed, one of the highest casualty rates of any combatant country.

The Marañon or Amazon River

Creator: Samuel Fritz
Date: 1707
Why it’s cool: Born in the province of Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), Fritz became a priest in 1673. He was sent to Quito in present-day Ecuador as a missionary in 1684 and spent the next 40 years ministering to the native people of the Upper Marañon region. He began mapping the region as part of a project to clarify the borders of missionary lands, Spanish lands, and Portuguese lands. He later undertook a project to chart the course of the Amazon. Despite having no training as a cartographer and using only very primitive instruments, Fritz completed a relatively accurate chart of the area. He was the first to follow the Marañon, a tributary of the Amazon, to its source.

Afghanistan and the Countries on the Northwest Border of India

Creator: Carl Zimmermann
Date: 1842
Why it’s cool: Carl Zimmermann was a first lieutenant in the Prussian Army who, in the early 1840s, developed a strong personal and professional interest in the conflict then being waged by the British Army in Afghanistan. In what became known as the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-40), Britain tried to extend its control from India northwest into Afghanistan, but suffered a series of disastrous defeats at the hands of the Afghan tribes and eventually was forced to withdraw. Reminds me of another bumbling empire in that region.

Geographical Distribution of the Population in France

Creator: Victor Turquan
Date: 1887
Why it’s cool: Turquan’s powers of visualization and the aesthetic quality of his maps made his work stand out from that of other statisticians of his time, and prefigured the more systematic development of quantitative cartography in the 20th century.

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GUE ga seberapa ngerti apa tuh maksudnya...

jelasin donk...

first

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btw ini bermuda yg bagian mana

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ini peta dari jaman behula ye? gue paling suka ama tata ruang kota, belgium singa gitu, ama venice.. keren toh-- yang laen, kebnykan brita inggris..gue kagak ngertii.. akakkakaka

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apik banget rek

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wele - wele itu map - map jadul ya?????? keren loh masih utuh gitu