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Oldest map of western world discovered

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The London Telegraph has a story about the discovery of the western world’s oldest map. It is a fragment of a terracotta vase about the size of a postage stamp and depicts the heel of the Italian peninsula. Dating from 500 BC, it was discovered more than 2 years ago. Its existence was kept secret until recently so research could be carried out on it.

From the article: “Its engraved place names are indicated by points, just as on maps today, and are written in ancient Greek. The sea on the western side, Taras (Taranto), today's Gulf of Taranto, is named in Greek. But the rest of the map is in Messapian, the ancient tongue of the local tribes, although the script is ancient Greek. The seas on either side of the peninsula, the Ionian and the Adriatic, are depicted by parallel zig-zag strokes. Many of the 13 towns marked on the map, such as Otranto, Soleto, Ugento and Leuca (now called Santa Maria di Leuca) still exist.”

The map is on display at the Archaeological National Museum of Taranto.

By way of GeoCarta.

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