The Piri Reis map dated 1513 and it is the first
surviving map that shows the Americas. The Piri Reis map shows
the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America,
and the northern coast of Antarctica. The northern coastline of
Antarctica is perfectly detailed. The most puzzling however is
not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map
of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered, but
that the map shows the coastline under the ice.
The Piri Reis map was made by a Turkish Admiral Piri Ibn
Haji Mehmed. Reis means admiral. His passion was cartography.
His high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him to have
a privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
The map became lost and was only rediscovered in 1929 by
a group of historians working in the harem section of the
Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. There is a lot of questions about
this map because of it's impressive details. Some even believe
that it is so perfect that it could only have been made from
very high altitude photographs.
Piri Reis' Map
The Piri Reis map is not made like modern maps with
horizontal and vertical grid for location purposes but had a series
of circles with lines radiating from them. Their purpose was to
guide navigators from port to port and not for the modern idea of
find position. This makes it more difficult to compare features
from the Piri Reis map with modern maps.
Some unusual findings about the map:
- The map shows that the makers knew the accurate circumference
of the Earth.
- The coastline and island that are shown in Antarctica
must have been navigated at some period prior to 4,000 B.C.
when these areas were free of ice from the last Ice Age.
- The map is thought to be one of the earliest "world
maps" to show the Americas. Early scholars suggested
that it showed accurate latitudes of the South American
and African coastlines - only 21 years after the voyages
of Columbus! Writing in Piri Re'is own hand described how
he had made the map from a collection of ancient maps, supplemented
by charts that were drawn by Columbus himself. This suggests
that these ancient maps were available to Columbus and could
have been the basis of his expedition.
- The "center" of the source map projected from
coordinates in what is now Alexandria - the center of culture
and home of the world's oldest and largest library until
its destruction by Christian invaders.
- Piri Reis' own commentary indicates that some of his source
maps were from the time of Alexander the Great (332 B.C.).
The Piri Reis map also has a number of notes written on it. These
notes cover everything from Columbus discovering the New World
to sea monsters. Some interesting notes:
"This country is inhabited. The entire
population goes naked."
"This region is known as the vilayet of
Antilia. It is on the side where the sun sets. They say that
there are four kinds of parrots, white, red, green and black.
The people eat the flesh of parrots and their headdress is made
entirely of parrots' feathers. There is a stone here. It resembles
black touchstone. The people use it instead of the ax."
"This sea is called the Western Sea, but
the Frank sailors call it the Mare d'Espagna. Which means the
Sea of Spain. Up to now it was known by these names, but Colombo,
who opened up this sea and made these islands known, and also
the Portuguese, infidels who have opened up the region of Hind
have agreed together to give this sea a new name. They have
given it the name of Ovo Sano [Oceano] that is to say, sound
egg. Before this it was thought that the sea had no end or limit,
that at its other end was darkness. Now they have seen that
this sea is girded by a coast, because it is like a lake, they
have called it Ovo Sano."
"In this spot there are oxen with one horn,
and also monsters in this shape."
The Piri Reis map is in Topkapi Palace and is not usually on display.
This map has great value to Turkey and to the world.
Date: October 21st, 2004
Hope you enjoyed our article!
Thank you for visiting our site !
Please write your suggestion for an article to : istanbulgmx.co.uk
here to buy
Turkish apple tea