Early world maps – Video Learning – WizScience.com
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The earliest known world maps date to classical antiquity, the oldest examples of the 6th to 5th centuries BC still based on the flat Earth paradigm.
World maps assuming a spherical Earth first appear in the Hellenistic period.
The developments of Greek geography during this time, notably by Eratosthenes and Posidonius culminated in the Roman era, with Ptolemy’s world map , which would remain authoritative throughout the Middle Ages.
Since Ptolemy, knowledge of the approximate size of the globe allowed cartographers to estimate the extent of their geographical knowledge, and to indicate parts of the globe known to exist but not yet explored as “terra incognita”.
With the Age of Discovery, during the 15th to 18th centuries, world maps became increasingly accurate; exploration of Antarctica and the interior of Africa was left to the 19th and early 20th century.
A Babylonian world map, known as the “Imago Mundi”, is commonly dated to the 6th century BCE.
The map as reconstructed by Eckhard Unger shows Babylon on the Euphrates, surrounded by a circular landmass showing Assyria, Urartu and several cities, in turn surrounded by a “bitter river” , with seven islands arranged around it so as to form a seven-pointed star. The accompanying text mentions seven outer regions beyond the encircling ocean. The descriptions of five of them have survived:
Anaximander is credited with having created one of the first maps of the world, which was circular in form and showed the known lands of the world grouped around the Aegean Sea at the center. This was all surrounded by the ocean.
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“The Place Inside” by Silent Partner (royalty-free) from YouTube Audio Library.
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