The Oldest Known Globe to Depict the Americas Is Made of Ostrich Eggs

(Photo: Washington Map Society)

This globe, which dates back to 1504, may be the oldest in the world to show both the New World and the Old. Meeri Kim writes in The Washington Post:

The globe, about the size of a grapefruit, is labeled in Latin and includes what were considered exotic territories such as Japan, Brazil and Arabia. North America is depicted as a group of scattered islands. The globe’s lone sentence, above the coast of Southeast Asia, is “Hic Sunt Dracones.”

“ ‘Here be dragons,’ a very interesting sentence,” said Thomas Sander, editor of the Portolan, the journal of the Washington Map Society. The journal published a comprehensive analysis of the globeMonday by collector Stefaan Missinne. “In early maps, you would see images of sea monsters; it was a way to say there’s bad stuff out there.”

The globe is made of the conjoined halves of two ostrich eggs.

Link -via Nag on the Lake


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