Happy 4th of July! (MapNerds rejoice!)

As some of my readers may be aware, I am fascinated by old maps.  They are a part of history that can never lie, like works of art in more ways than one.  Interpretations are many but they are a reflection of what was known by people at the time they were made…and what was not.

So, in honor of Independence Day for my fellow State-siders, here’s the world’s oldest known map that is marked with the name ‘America’ dating back to Germany in 1507:

Image

According to CNN, what we now call America is the ‘smaller, banana-shaped landmass’ on the right side.  I can imagine the map, evolved from Amerigo Vespucci’s early 16th century journeys, was akin to us finding life on Mars.  The ocean was not endless.  There was actually a world no one ever imagined.  Of course what followed in the name ‘exploration’ and gold was an awful era of massacre, but for a short time there was wonder.

To see another #mapnerd post see here and follow the hashtag on Twitter!

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