Strange Maps

I am the 10,000,000th person to come across the blog Strange Maps but I don't care. It is the most consistently fantastic thing I've seen online in a long, long time. It has motivated me to drag from the vaults a collection of maps I've been meaning to post on here forever. While researching a conceptual encyclopedia I made for my college senior thesis I found a wonderful old book deep in the library stacks called Unrolling the Map: The Story of Exploration by Leonard Outhwaite (1935) that I think beautifully illustrates the discovery of the world from an unashamedly Eurocentric point of view. For some reason you weren't allowed to check it out so I had to sneak a scanner into the library and covertly gather these images, coughing heavily to hide the noise. I've tried to pair them with maps detailing the same period in world history as close as I could using the book Atlas of World History by John Haywood (1997):

1800 AD — Exploration

1812 AD — Cultures

1550 AD — Exploration

1530 AD — Cultures

1490 AD — Exploration

1492 AD — Cultures

700–1300 AD — Exploration

1279 AD — Cultures

1000 AD — Exploration

1000 AD — Cultures

800 AD — Exploration

800 AD — Cultures

3000 BC — Exploration

2000 BC — Cultures

I like to imagine how mind blowing it would be to live in Europe 2000 years ago and be handed an accurate map of the world and all the people in it, or to be transported from Medieval Europe to the advanced Aztec or Mayan capitols, or Japan, or to Polynesia. It would be akin to being handed a map of the night sky with all the inhabited planets pointed out on it. Kind of like this:


Neil Egan said...

I like maps. These are amazing.

Neil Egan said...

I like maps. These are amazing.