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The map, created by the German cartographer Henricus Martellus, was originally covered with dozens of legends and bits of descriptive text, all in Latin.

The Story of Geographical Discovery: How the World Became Known

Most of it has faded over the centuries. But now researchers have used modern technology to uncover much of this previously illegible text.

Learn about the Age of Discovery, the Voyages of Columbus and Magellan - Learning resource

Contrary to popular myth, 15th-century Europeans did not believe that Columbus would sail off the edge of a flat Earth, says Chet Van Duzer, the map scholar who led the study. Its depiction of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea is more or less accurate, or at least recognizable. But southern Africa is oddly shaped like a boot with its toe pointing to the east, and Asia is also twisted out of shape.

At the time the map was created, Europeans knew Japan existed, but knew very little about its geography. Correct, but almost certainly another lucky guess says Van Duzer, as no other known map of the time shows Japan unambiguously oriented this way.


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The map is roughly 3. Over time, much of the text had faded to almost perfectly match the background, making it impossible to read. But in Van Duzer won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that allowed him and a team of collaborators to use a technique called multispectral imaging to try to uncover the hidden text.

Many of the map legends describe the regions of the world and their inhabitants. The most surprising revelation, however, was in the interior of Africa, Van Duzer says.

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National Geographic - America Before Columbus

In the Appendix I have given in chronological order, and for the first time on such a scale in English, the chief voyages and explorations by which our knowledge of the world has been increased, and the chief works in which that knowledge has been recorded. In the body of the work I have then attempted to connect together these facts in their more general aspects. Violent White Supremacist Extremists WSE are defined as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, to support thei The act, which was meant to define the act Click to Preview.


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