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Researchers cast new light on old map September 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology.
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This week saw the launch in Switzerland of a new edition of a book that inspired Christopher Columbus and helped revolutionise the art of map-making.

When Columbus was pondering how to reach Cathay, he had in his hands a world map drawn by the first century Greek geographer Ptolemy – a map which showed clearly that the world was round.
 
The edition of Ptolemy’s Geography is the work of an international team of researchers led by Bern University professors Alfred Stückelberger and Gerd Grasshoff.

They were given unique access to possibly the oldest existing copy of the work, preserved in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. It was in such poor condition that it took the team, backed by the Swiss embassy, two years of negotiation with the Turkish authorities before they gained permission to study it.

Read this article > Ptolemy’s maps depicted a world that was round (Swiss National

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