Research – Looking at old maps

IMG_0110During Vincent’s lecture about the background behind the evolution of maps throughout history, I was really interested by the circular Babylonian map from the 6th/7th century. It is completely unlike anything I have seen before, and I was fascinated by the concept of basing your geographical surroundings in relation to the central point – especially considering this was before the theory of a spherical Earth. They placed Babylon in the middle of the map and only recorded what was important to them, which is an idea I may consider in my own map of Bournemouth, to bring a more personal account of the location.

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A much later version of the map is the Roman approach to cartography which has a more global-like structure with latitude and longitude markings like today. Surrounding the Earth are astrological symbols, figures of explorers and influential people, as well as the ‘earth, wind, air and fire’ elements personified above. In some ways like the religious metaphysical factors of older maps, this map includes other influences which adds more depth¬†to the geographical view of the world that were important to the society and culture it was created in.

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