Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ancient world maps.

The De Virga world map was made around 1411. (And re-discovered in a second-hand bookshop in 1911. And stolen during an auction in 1932, and never recovered.)

It gives a fairly accurate shape of Africa, at a time when the continent had not yet been rounded by European explorers. The source of such cartographic information is unknown, although it could be Muslim traders, or possibly Chinese cartographers under Admiral Zheng He.

Zheng He was a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, fleet admiral, and eunuch who from 1405 to 1433 made voyages across the Indian ocean and to the coast of Africa. His voyages and the subsequent possible abandonment (as some have argued) of maritime exploration by the Chinese emperors have become symbolic in the space advocacy community of the success and cancellation of the Apollo Program.

Chinese exploration.

1 comment:

Oscar1986 said...

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