English translation by Roberto Patriarca, with valuable help of James Gill (alias Albion of Avalon)

At the present day no one believes the existence of the strange inhabitants of the region of the Baikal Lake that we see in this image, taken from the medieval "Book of Wonders". So nobody should take as absolutely creditable the cartographic evidence of the ancient navigation maps dated before 16th century. Maps that were written up before the discovery of a precise way to calculate the longitude. Discovery that happened in the 17th century. The geographic maps designed until that period were based on symbolic systems of representation such as Jerusalem as the center of the world, inverted north/south orientation, or different scales for different nations and so on. In many cases these maps were not drawn on the basis of direct evidence but were copied and modified from other maps, and were often adapted to suit the needs of nations like Spain and Portugal, in dispute for the dominion of recently discovered lands. Added to this fact, it was believed until 1507, that those lands, visited for the first time by Columbus and then Vespucci, were part of Asia and not a new continent. Furthermore many maps joined parts of the known Far East with parts of newly explored lands, and then often added southern mythical "incognito lands". These additions were made in order to refer to the ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers (rediscovered in the Renaissance). In the same maps we can often see other mythical places like the "Reign of Priest John", the island of Brazil, the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel or the Island of Saint Brendan. But if you try and search the Internet using "Piri Reis map" as keywords, you will surely come across many web sites dedicated to "mysteries", which allege that this map, dated "Year 919 in Muslim Calendar" (A.D. 1513 in our calendar), contains a precise representation of the coasts of Antarctica, a continent unknown at that time. The same happens for other famous maps, such as the one drawn by Orontius Finaeus in 1531 and the one by Philippe Buache, , dated 1739. According to Charles Hapgood, author of "Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age", those map contain a precise representation of Antarctica as it was before last ice age. The same idea was advanced by Von Daniken in "Chariots of Gods" and by Flavio Barberio in "Una civiltà sotto ghiaccio", but the most famous book among the ones which made this theory so popular, is Graham Hancock's archeological fiction "Fingerprints of the Gods". According to many mystery enthusiasts, these maps were either based on ancient

representations, perhaps dating as far back as the mythical Atlantis, or were drawn from pictures taken from the sky, by satellites, aircrafts or spaceships. That because the knowledge available as of 16th century cannot explain such stunning correspondence with reality. Both Hapgood and Hancock claim that the representation of the Antarctic continent is incredibly precise. And since it clearly indicates rivers, lakes and mountains, this ancient cartographic model could date as back as 15,000 years ago. They also suggest that the map was drawn basing on surveys, which must have been taken from a satellite in a geostationary orbit over... Egypt. The usual, recurring Egypt of mysteries. In this page I will try a much simpler explaination.

What is known today as the map of the Turkish admiral Piri Reis is actually just a fragment of the original, much larger map, which represented the whole known world. This surviving portion represents Atlantic Ocean, western coasts of Europe and Africa, and eastern coasts of America. It is dated "Muslim Year 919", which corresponds to our A.D. 1513 (but the map was presented to the Sultan in 1517). According to its author, the map was compiled from "twenty older charts and eight planispheres". It is very likely that Reis also examined the journey accounts written by early explorers of New World, expecially Portuguese, as they are often mentioned within notes on the map. The notes have been transcribed by Turkish scholar Bay Hasan Fehmi and published by Yusuf Akcura, President of the Society for Turkish Historical Research, in 1935 in his work “Piri Reis Haritasi”, and then re-

published by Ayse Afetinan in "The oldest map of America" in 1954. It is worth nothing that, although this and other maps abound with clear and perfectly readable text and captions, the authors who present them as proof of their extravagant theses quote nothing but few lines. The only region of South America to look sufficiently detailed on the map is the coast of Brazil, although River of Amazones is drawn twice, in different locations. Other areas such as Caribbean islands, though already explored at that time, are roughly charted, with evident errors in both position and orientation. Piri Reis himself states, in a note, that he consulted the charts of Cristopher Columbus. The peculiar (and wrong) configuration of the Caribbean area in his map seem to confirm that statement. That region of the American continent is indeed improperly represented: it features a large island arranged north-south, which cannot easily be identified with Cuba, not even by rotating the whole map counterclockwise by 90 degrees.

But what that part of Piri Reis' map actually represents is the east coast of Asia, as it had been imagined and depicted on the charts of 15th century that Columbus probably used. The large island bordered in red can be identified with Japan (Cipango), as it appears on planisphere of Martin Behaim, 1492.



Japan (Cipango) in the Martin Behaim globe (1492) and in its graphic reproduction, compared with the Caribbean area on Piri Reis map.

The Earth was infact thought to be much smaller than it actually is, and Asia was though to lie just across Atlantic Ocean, not far from Azores and from legendary Island of Saint Brendan (the latter appears on Piri Reis map while it never actually existed, except in tales about lives of the Saints). The map of Piri Reis is thus a very important document, as it contains valuable information about the "maps of Columbus", one of which was probably drawn by Toscanelli. At Piri Reis’ time South America had already been explored, first by Amerigo Vespucci and then by Binot Paulmier de Gonneville. Vespucci made two journeys to the new continent between 1499 and 1502, reaching as far south as 50th parallel (not far from Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego), while it is not sure whether he took part in a third journey between 1503 and 1504. De Gouneville, on the other hand, remained within the lands south of Brazil from 1503 and 1505. On his way back he took a native with him, who was named Essomericq. Even after Vespucci, who first realized he was not coasting Asia but a new continent, the name "America" was only being used to denote what is now known as South America. It was still believed that the newly discovered lands north of Caribbean Sea were part of Asia, and that Japan (Cipango) was just west of Cuba, as we can see from planispheres of early 1500, such as those of Giovanni Contarini and Francesco Rosselli. We can thus conclude that the map of Piri Reis, having been compiled from both older charts and new third-hand knowledge, represents an extremely imprecise description of lands that lie across the Atlantic Ocean. Even maps dating back to the first years of 1500 (Juan de La Cosa, 1500; Cantino, 1502) are more accurate than Piri Reis' when it comes to profile and orientation of

islands such as Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The only part of the map that Piri Reis probably copied from a quite accurate source is the coast of current Brazil. But if we overlap the two coast lines, we can easily realize that correspondence is only apparent.

But what mystery lovers are most enthusiastic about is the bottom edge of the map, which is said to represent Antarctica. Some claim that Land of Queen Maud and other features of Antarctica are clearly recognizable on the map, even though that continent was not explored but many centuries later. Unfortunatley these people, including Hancock, claim the above hypothesis without making any cartographic comparison or first-hand check: they just accept Charles Hapgood's statements as true. Hancock in particular does not mention any book about history of cartography within the notes of the first two chapters of his book "Fingerprints of the Gods" (the very chapters about geographic charts). He just quotes Hapgood's work, thus clearly showing that he didn't even make an attempt to learn on the subject.

. . Moreover, if the map of Piri Reis is so accurate and if the land depicted at the bottom edge of it is really Anctartica, one may ask why none of those authors explains what has become of the missing 1200 miles of coast from Brazil to Tierra del Fuego (the whole length of Argentina), and why this odd Antarctica protrudes from Brazil instead of laying 2500 miles south of it. One just needs to examine that part of the map carefully to realize, even without being an expert cartographer, that it represents nothing more than the extremity of the southamerican continent, an approximate representation made possibile by means available at that time. The drawing is deformed, slanted to the right, possibly to conform to the peculiar shape of the piece of parchment. It is also worth mentioning that cartographic maps were

used as political tools as well. Placing some land on either side of the meridian dubbed "la Raya" which was agreed upon as a demarcation between Spanish and Portuguese zones of influence could serve as an excuse for the corresponding power to claim rights of possession. Piri Reis often mentions Portuguese maps in his notes, and of course Portuguese would have preferred the coast south of Brazil to bend sharply to the right towards Africa. That would have placed the coast within the 180 degrees assigned to their jurisdiction by Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494.

We must also not forget that pratical methods of calculating the longitude were invented only a century later. Earlier maps thus contained a great degree of approximation, and different drawing "styles" were employed according to the purpose of the chart In order to identify the places depicted on the bottom part of Piri Reis's map, we can try and rotate a map of South America counterclockwise by 90 degrees. We must keep in mind, though, that no precise measuring instruments were available at that time. Thus, cartographers would draw their maps of newly discovered coasts basing on early journey accounts, which talked generically about capes, islands, river mouths, gulfs, and so on. Charts would therefore contain pieces of information and of geographical data not correctly calculated, nor in correct relationship among each other.

We can nonetheless recognise, albeit deformed, some features such as Gulf of San Matias and Peninsula Valdes, while the extremity could be Tierra del Fuego. We could maybe even identify the mouth of Strait of Magellan, with its peculiar small gulf.. If we now look carefully at the bottom-right edge, which is supposed to represent Anctartica, we can see a small picture of a snake. A corresponding note by Piri Reis reads: "This land is uninhabited. Everything is in ruin (barren?) and it is said that large snakes are found here. For this reason the Portuguese infidels did not land on these shores and these are also said to be very hot." Clearly such a description does not fit Antarctica at all.


Close to the bottom of Piri Reis map there is an archipelago featuring a larger island called "il de Sare". Among those islands is written "Buadalar issizdir, ama bahar coktur", that is "Those islands are deserted but spring here lasts long". It could be a primitive representation of Falkland/Malvinas islands (the larger of which is called Soledad). It may seem quite odd, as the small archipelago was "officially" discovered in 1592. But a group of islands in the same location can be seen on the Circolus Antarticus chart by Pedro Reinel, dated 1522 (Istambul, Topkapi Museum Library). South America in the Circolus Antarticus chart by Pedro Reinel, 1522 (Istambul, Topkapi Museum Library).

South America in the Circolus Antarticus cart by Pedro Reinel, 1522 (Istambul, Topkapi Museum Library)

And a group of islands off 50th parallel appears in the Martin Waldseemuller's map of 1507 as well. It is thus possibile, though not officially documented, that some navigator coasting the south-eastern end of America during the first decade of 1500 actually sighted an archipelago, and reported the sighting back home. Such an hypothesis is mentioned on some web pages about Falkland Islands' history (see page 1 and page 2), too. Those pages also suggest the names of Amerigo Vespucci and Binot Paulmier de Gonneville.

Waldseemuller cart of 1507, with an enlargement of South America explored by Amerigo Vespucci as far as 50° parallel

Another enlargement from the Waldseemuller map of 1507

Waldseemuller map of 1507, with an enlargement of the portion of South America explored by Amerigo Vespucci, who reached as far south as 50° parallel Another enlargement from the Waldseemuller map of 1507 Waldseemuller's map derives from the very accounts of the

journeys made by Vespucci. In this document the newly discovered continent is for the first time referred to as "America", a name the author chose in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. This map too could have formed the basis of Piri Reis' compilation work, as Columbus' charts did. After Vespucci's last journey, more and more expeditions were undertaken with the purpose of opening a new route towards Asia, but no result was obtained until 1520. It is thus not unreasonable to suppose that other expeditions might have sailed along the remaining short strecth of coast, up to the strait located at 54th parallel, even before 1513. The strait was later named after Magellan, who in 1520 realized it was not a mere gulf but a way between Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Magellan then succeeded in crossing the strait among many difficulties, and finally reached Philippines. At that time, the land south of the strait was thought to represent the northern edge of that large continent which, according to tolemaic tradition, must have existed in the southern emisphere to balance the quantity of emerged lands in the northern one. Furthermore, many charts and planispheres of that period read "Terra Australis Incognita" (Unknown Austral Land) on the land south of the strait of Magellan.

World maps by Camocio, LeTestu and Mercator



Mercator, World Map, 1569 (part.)

The southern end of Tierra del Fuego - thus named because of the villages' bonfires Magellan saw while sailing across the strait - is Cape Horn, swept by winds and stormy, which was circumnavigated only in 1615. That too did not happen for the sake of knowledge but for mere economical reasons. Indeed, two Dutches, Cornelius Shouten and Jacob Lemaire, intended to reach Indonesian seas avoiding all known routes (strait of Magellan, Cape of Good Hope), as Company of Indies had denied them the permission to follow those routes. They succedeed in their feat, but once they reached Java they were arrested by Dutch authorities, which disbelieved their discovery of a new route. Tierra del Fuego was in fact commonly thought to be a peninsula linked to "Terra Australis".


The map drawn by Jan Jansson after Lemaire circumnavigation of the Tierra del Fuego. To the right a detail of the mouth of the Strait of Magellan, compared to a detail of Piri Reis map.

A comparison between a close-up of Piri Reis map and a modern map of the Magellan strait entrance and Tierra del Fuego rotated counterclockwise by 90 degrees.

It could just be a coincidence, but one cannot but notice the presence, in both charts, of the two basins forming the mouth of Strait of Magellan, and of another large bay farther south. Could the mistery of Piri Reis' map be just that? Did Piri Reis employ the journey accounts of the Portuguese sailors who reached Tierra del Fuego before Magellan? Magellan set out in 1519 and it looks like he already knew about some strait or bay as "he saw it, in the Treasury of the King of Portugal, on a map drawn by Martin de Bohemia" (Martin Behaim), as the journey's chronicler Antonio Pigafetta tells us. Or, on the contrary, can we speculate that the lower extremity of the map was added later, after the journey of 1519? We indeed know that the chart of Pedro Reinel, kept in the same Library of Topkapi, was probably retouched after the discovery of the Strait of Magellan But the more probable hypothesis remains that, drawing the extremity of the South American continent, Piri Reis would have been based on the more diffuse geographic theories in the first decades of the ' 500. According to many geographers of the age the more southern part of the South America would have been joined to the mythical Terra Australis Incognita. The map of Lopo Homem (1519) can allow us to reconstruct the aspect of the complete map of Piri Reis:

In this map, from the famous Atlas Miller, we see that the still unexplored extremity of the South American continent fold towards east, going to form the mythical austral continent that, touching the indonesian archipelago, continues without a break until the extremity of Asia.


English translation: Leonardo Serni

Another well-known map - considered by Graham Hancock and other "mystery" fans as proof positive of Anctartica being already known and charted centuries before its exploration - is the one published in 1531 by Oronce Fine (called Oronzio Fineo, in Italian; or Orontius Finaeus, in Latin), a renowned mathematician who also designed geographical maps based upon his geometrical studies of the various spherical or cordiform projections. This map represents a large continent called "Terra Australis" (land that lies to the south), around the South pole. But in this case, too - or, we ought to say, especially in this case - it is evident that the continent, clearly separated from the South America by the Magellan Straits, was not Anctarctica but the depiction of a mythical land, composed by mixing what few morsels of information were then available on the recently discovered lands at the extreme south of the known world. THE "TERRA AUSTRALIS INCOGNITA" There is in fact many a map showing "Terra Australis Incognita" ("unknown land in the south"), the continent that should have been there, according to the Greek philosophers from Pitagora onwards. They had figured out the Earth to be spherical, and had even calculated its diameter within a good degree of precision (Erathosthenes, in the III century b.C.), and thought that, being there lands in the northern hemisphere, there should be lands in the southern hemisphere too, lest the world be unbalanced. On the myth of "Terra

Australis" a great many books have been written, and in all the studies on the history of cartography maps will be found representing the fabulous continent; which is not an icefree Anctartica, but an imaginary land. After the first explorations following the discovery of Americas, sailors brought news of new lands being discovered farther and farther south, and this gave strength to the idea of the mythical continent really existing, to the point of it being actually included in many 16th century maps. In those maps, as in many others, we see "Terra Australis Incognita", a myth not different from the one of the Garden of Eden (which, too, is often to be found in medioeval maps), the Prester John Reign (usually placed in East Africa), or El Dorado.


The great continent occupying great part of the southern hemisphere bears the name:

"Terra Australis recenter inventa sed nondum plene cognita", which means "Southern land found recently but not fully known". From this, too, we can see that it can't be (as mystery writers suggest) a representation of Anctarctica before the ice age, showing as it does mountains, valleys, and rivers, but of lands recently discovered and only partially explored.

Moreover, the real Anctarctica is not near South America, divided from it by the Magellan Straits. Far from it, literally, the austral continent is much farther south, its northernmost fringes being more than 1000 km from the Tierra do Fuego. Finaeus' world map is then an approximate, idealised map where lands only half-seen or skirted by sailors are knitted together to form a great austral continent. And what might have been these lands, so "recenter inventae sed nondum plene cognitae"? Why, one is surely Tierra do Fuego itself, coasted by Magellan in 1520 and thought to be, through all of the 16-th century, the northern fringe of Terra Australis. In describing the region, Finaeus' map doesn't appear much different by so many others of the same period.



Magellan Strait in the maps of Finaeus, Apian and Munster.

Magellan Strait and the Terra Australis Incognita the in the map of Jodocus Hondius, 1608. But there was another land at the far south of the known world, which, in the first years of the 16-th century, was just beginning to be visited by Portoguese sailors, who had reached the Polynesian archipelago.

In Finaeus' map the islands of Java and Timor can be clearly seen, and that great continent dubbed "Terra Australis" and thought to extend up to the Magellan Straits to South America might then comprise also Australia, which is just to south-east of Java and Timor. The great gulf depicted in Terra Australis could then be a sketchy layout of Carpentaria Gulf, in which the two islands of Groote and Wellesley are recognizable, or the Bonaparte Gulf, near Java and Timor.



Orontius Finaeus' "Terra Australis" confronted to Australia. In both maps, we find Java (or Giava) at the top left.

The north coast of Australia, and in particular the region called "Regio Patalis" (the name comes from Marco Polo's writings), to the right of a great gulf, is recognizable also in other maps dating from the middle of the 16-th century and had been surely reached by the Portuguese long before Tasman's travel in 1642 and the "official" discovery by Capt. Cook. On this topic some studies have been recently published among which the more widely known are: Roger Hervé, Découverte fortuite de l'Australie et de la Nouvelle-Zélande par des navigateurs portugais et espagnols entre 1521 et 1528, Comité des travaux historiques

et scientifiques, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, 1982; Kenneth Gordon McIntyre, "The Secret Discovery of Australia: Portuguese Ventures 250 Years before Capt. Cook." Sydney, Pan, 1977. Even in maps from the end of 15-th century we find the Indonesian islands (Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes), and surely many travellers knew about a great unexplored land mass to the south, known to the Chinese and rich in gold and shells. At the beginning of the 16-th century the Portuguese had begun colonizing those islands nearest Australia, that resulted within their jurisdiction. They reached Java and Malacca (1511), then Timor (1515), and probably had also reached the northern coast of a large, and unknown, land. Mendonca's expedition south of Timor dates back to 1522. The sailor left towards the India of the South, cited in many tales of european and chinese voyagers. Cristóvão de Mendonça came to shore in what at the beginning he though to be a very large island. Upon his return in Portugal, de Mendonca kept the discovery to himself, to avoid it to be exploited by the Spaniards, since the actual position of the border between Spanish and Portuguese areas in the Pacific was, at the time, quite controversial. A large land mass, called "Greater Java", placed south of Java and Sumatra, appears in many 16-th century French maps which quote Portuguese landmarks. They might have been all copied from the same original perhaps stolen from the Portuguese, by the bishop Miguel de Silva. He was accused of illegally smuggling confidential documents: thus maps were considered, since they could supply other nations with vital information for colonial ventures.

Desliens map of 1567. The orientation is inverted: Nord is down.

At that time, travel and exploration weren't endeavored for sport, or for knowledge's sake.

What really mattered was opening new routes and finding exploitable lands, spices, precious metals. But the "Terra australis", so "recenter inventa", long remained "paene cognita", since it didn't offer, apparently, but "sterile coasts, inhabited by few savages so primitive it wasn't possible to reach the vaguest understanding with" ("History of the Explorations" by Ugo Dettore, Ist. Geogr. de Agostini). Australia clearly appears in the 1593 map by Cornelius de Jode, and in world maps dating at the beginning of the 17-th century, but it was only in 1642 that a Dutch, Abel Tasman, sailed south of Tasmania and New Holland (now Australia) and discovered that this land didn't belong to the mythic Southern Continent, but was really a large island.

CORNELIUS DE JODE "Nova Guinea" From "Speculum Orbis Terraum", Antwerp, 1593.

MELCHISEDECH THEVENOT "Hollandia Nova", Paris, 1663.

(English translation: Daniela Cisi)

Then there is a third map, also published by Graham Hancock in his book ”Fingerprints of Goods”, which is considered an evidence of the fact that Antarctic was already known before its effective exploration. It is the map of Philippe Buache, published certainly after 1739 (Hancock says 1737) since in its notes there is reference to the journey of Charles Bouvet, who reached the new lands south of Cape of Good Hope the first of january of the same year. Actually the map may seem strange, since the South Pole is placed at the middle of a glacial sea and is surrounded by two wide islands that form a huge austral continent. In this case the similarity with Antarctic is really poor but the fans of mysteries do not discourage because of this and say that this map represent Antarctic before it was covered by glaciers, hundred thousand years ago. Even in this case the truth is simpler and gives evidence to the way of proceeding of these archeologyfiction-best-sellers writers. For example they do not even care about the great variety of text, descriptions, notes present in the cart of Buache, which, once red, explain clearly what the cartographer intended to represent. Moreover these writers hide to the reader a very important information: the fact that two different versions of this cart do exist.

The former version contains only the real information about the new lands recently discovered at the far south of the world: Australia,Tasmania, New Zeland, Bouvet island with Cape of Circumncision, another land south of the Tierra del Fuego (maybe one of the Shetlands).

.. In the latter version the author clearly writes conjecturée (conjectured) and draws an imaginary continent by joining together the few parts of coast effectively explored at that period (traced in red), thus creating the latest descent of the mythical “Terra Australis Incognita” as also represented in many renaissance carts and globes. Buache did not represent Antarctic as it were hundred thousand years ago but simply tried to join together the few extremes available of an unknown land to figure out how it could look like. Doing this and sketching out the Terra Australis Buache took inspiration from the globe of Gerard De Jode of 1593, while some denominations of parts of the Terra Australis (for example the Terre des Perroquets) come from the globe of Gerard Mercator of 1541, who refers back to the tales of Marco Polo.

Version 1



Version 2



The cart, in both versions, provides rich information concerning the journeys made at the far south of the known world (both original French texts and English translation are available on the web). Specifically there is mention of Captain Bouvet, who the first of January 1739 discovered a new land south of Cape of Good Hope, named it Cape of Circumcision (after the first of January recurrence) and described it like a big iced mountain, harsh and inaccessible. He too, as Magellan before him with the Tierra del Fuego, did not realize that that was an island. On the contrary he thought it was the northern part of the mythical austral continent. In the carts of Buache the journey of Bouvet is traced with precision, with dates and the route followed. In addition there are descriptions of the icebergs encountered during these trips and the Cape of Circumcision is clearly represented in the second cart, described as part of the austral continent. Buache was not the first one who represented the Terra Australis Incognita in this way. This is a map drawed by Jan Jansson in 1657 (click to enlarge):

Atlantis under ice?
Not only have Erich von Däniken and Graham Hancock adopted the theories of Charles Hapgood on the Piri Reis map and other medieval and Renaissance maps. Flavio Barbiero (1942- ) has indeed published a book, "A Civilization Under Ice", which suggests that the legendary Atlantis is to be found buried under the ice of Antarctica. Barbiero is an engineer who joined the Italian Navy in 1961, reaching the rank of Admiral. He spent most of his professional career in Navy and NATO research centers. Unfortunately, in the middle of a book otherwise serious and documented, he cannot resist the temptation to see in the old maps that which never was. In addition to the map of Piri Reis, Barbiero published several medieval globes. The author argues that the land represented there is Atlantis, identifiable with Antarctica. Recognizing the Ross Sea, the Bay of McKenzie, the Weddell area and other parts of the continent surrounding the South Pole he contends that some maps represented Atlantis / Antarctica 10,000 years ago, and others represent it during the Pleistocene (the period between 1,600,000 and 11,000 years ago). All this is postulated regardless of the fact that in those documents appear clearly not only geographical names in Europe, Asia and Africa, but also depictions of mythical places like the Garden of Eden, or tombs of the Apostles, etc. Let us view some examples of maps that pretend to represent Atlantis.

Planisfero (Planisphere, or Overview Map) drawn from Grandes Croniques Saint Denis, 1364-1372. Barbiero implied that this drawing depicts Atlantis, then Antarctica. In it he recognized the "dense network of channels similar to that described by Plato.” What it is instead is one of the common medieval depictions made according to the tripartite scheme Asia (top) Europe (bottom left.), Africa (bottom right). The world is centered on Jerusalem and surrounded by ocean, beyond which it depicts the twelve winds. We also notice many fortified cities (Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Nazareth, Damascus, Babylon, Alexandria) and different regions (Spain, England, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Sardinia, Sicily, Cyprus, etc.) all have their names clearly evidenced. He also represented the mythical Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39), as the Earthly Paradise. This type of globe did not take much account of geographical knowledge but was intended as an idealized and philosophical representation and was based on the O-T diagram . For examples derived from the manuscripts of Isidore of Seville see the pictures below.

Note also that this was the precise orientation of Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, which almost always had the apse facing east.

Mappa Mundi (Maps of the Globes) of Hidgen, Ramsey Abbey, 1350 This document reflects the philosophy of Hugh of St. Victor, who conceived of the world as an Ark for all mortals. In it we can read more than 200 names, mostly classical and biblical, names in Asia and Africa, and modern ones in Europe. You can see people setting sail from Brindisi to Jerusalem (always set as the world’s center [in medieval times]), and perhaps the first mention of the Gotthard Pass. Bottom left is England, drawn in red with plenty of detail, and full of pictures of the city. In the empty rectangle at the top [(East)] the cartography may have left a place, as in similar maps, for the earthly paradise. The Red Sea is designed with great

emphasis in red. Planisfero (Planisphere, or Overview Map) of Gervase of Tilbury, 1236 This world map is also based on the O-T diagram, but it is peculiar in that the World is depicted as Christ's body, with his head (top) to the East, hands (right and left) at North and South and feet to the West (bottom). We see depicted the most important places in the world (real and mythological): The Earthly Paradise with its four rivers, Mount Ararat with Noah's Ark, the Ganges, the mountains of China, the land of Persia, Egypt and the Nile crocodiles, France including Paris, England and Scotland, Rome, Venice, etc. This map does not reflect real geographical knowledge, but represents the idealized world, according to philosophical and religious principles. The original was destroyed during World War II and now there are only a few copies such as this photograph and from later periods.

Planisfero (Planisphere, or Overview Map) of Andrea Bianco, 1436 In this map the O-T diagram is less evident and the Mediterranean area begins to be represented more accurately. Again, however, predominance in the depiction is given to biblical stories. Two mythical islands are located off the Atlantic Ocean, Gibraltar as well as the mythical Satanaxium Antilia, the island of demons. At right, the map its pattern is rotated 90 ° so as to bring North to the top. In this map also Barbiero supposed a representation of Atlantis 10,000 years


Mappamondo (Map of the Globe), Giovanni Leardo, 1448 A series of symbolic representations of the world appear, linked to medieval conceptions. This map (of which there are two other variants) has some modern features, such as the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe derived from pilot books (nautical maps). Some names are derived from Ptolemy's Geography of Asia and in noteworthy names one sees the influence of Marco Polo. Around the [margins of the] world there is a calendar of years 1448-1494, with ability to calculate the day of Easter. Jerusalem continues to be positioned in the center of the world; at north and south we see two areas colored in red and defined uninhabitable because too cold and too hot, respectively. This map also depicted Atlantis, in this case during the Pleistocene, according to Barbiero Anglo-Saxon world map (or cottonii), About 10251050 Rather than predominantly religious symbolism this globe presents the great civilizations of history: Babylon, Media, Macedonia and Rome. The coasts of England (bottom left), Denmark, the Peloponnese, France and Spain are represented more realistically than on other maps of the time. It contains information of an encyclopedic nature, classical and biblical. The map shows the migration of Jews and cites the City of Bethlehem. This is not a typical Garden of Eden; Gog and Magog are confined behind a wall in the north-east Asia. Griffins, men drawn with dog's heads and a lion drawn in Africa are visible.

Mappamondo (Map of the Globe) of Hereford, Richard de Bello, 1290 According to Barbiero "the correspondence with the profile of Antarctica Pleistocene is extraordinary. Note Ross Bay at the top right, McKenzie Bay to the left, both with their characteristic profile." This is the largest surviving medieval map of the world, which according to history scholars represents the finest "classical" tradition of such maps. Above you can view the Last Judgment, with Madonna praying for mankind. At the center as always lay Jerusalem, topped by an image of the crucifixion. The names of sites evoke the four empires of human history, the travels of the apostles and routes of pilgrimage, but also mythological stories like the Golden Fleece. Alexandria with its lighthouse, the delta of the Nile with the Pyramids, the Red Sea, and India with the river Ganges, plus the usual earthly paradise at the top (to the East), are shown and specifically named. The images of England and Wales contain representations of Lincoln Cathedral and Welsh castles only recently constructed at the time of Edward I. Also represented are contemporary trade routes with a mixture of sacred and secular meanings. Barbiero included reproductions of other maps in the book, all identified with the mythical Atlantis, in all cases without any basis or proof of these statements. The only "science" used by the author is to note the similarity of these images. But since these planispheres are still nothing like Antarctica today, he states that they represent the Pleistocene Antarctic/Atlantis of hundreds of thousands of years ago. According to Barbiero "all medieval planispheres are simply more or less stylized reproductions and adaptations of ancient maps of Antarctica". But what Barbiero did not see is that many of these medieval maps clearly represented, in the southern hemisphere, the mythical Terra Australis, with a great sea that [encircles and] separates the then-known world (Europe, Asia, Africa).

. Although all these documents are derived from Beatus, they clearly show the region of the "Antipodes". The extreme southern hemisphere in these maps is to the right. Some are clearly drawn with a character that appears with his feet hanging over his head (an antipode).

Barbiero’s theory that all medieval planispheres represent an ancient depiction of Antarctica is not possible if they contain within another representation of Antarctica itself. These medieval world maps were based on faith, on sacred texts and on mythological stories, but not on phantom maps of Atlantis, preserved by unknown methods for more than 10,000 years and ending up in the hands of monks in Europe. Of what material would such maps be made to last? And if those ancient Atlantis maps had survived through the ages, what became of them? By the time those documents were designed, and this should shed light on their purpose, there were already more accurate maps that were based on observations, measurements, and travel reports. In the middle of '300 for example (about the time of the planispheres of Saint Denis and Hidgen and before that of Andrea White) arose the wonderful Catalan Atlas. The Mediterranean is beautifully drawn while Asia still has the typical imaginative features of the old T-type globes.

The medieval world maps that we saw above on this page were not made by sailors or cartographers, but almost always by monks in the monasteries for religious and symbolic purposes, not for practical use. They represented a spiritual world, based on Scripture and the teachings of the Church, what was then thought a reality consistent with their faith. Medieval planispheres were not strictly geographical, much less ancient diagrams of Antarctica.
Diego Cuoghi 2002

Postscript 2007: On August 1, 2006 a beautifully illustrated book by Alessandro Scafi, dedicated to those medieval maps, was published by University Of Chicago Press: "Il paradiso in terra Mappe del giardino dell'Eden (Heaven on earth - Maps of the garden of Eden)". The scholar discloses that the purpose of such maps, far from “practical" navigation, was the location of sacred places of the Bible. Theologians especially argued that the Garden of Eden had really existed and still was extant at the remote borders of the known world. "The depiction of paradise came to play an important role in mapping expressing a vision founded on the Bible. The world maps produced in monasteries and cathedrals of Western Europe were not, however, exposition of theology, pastoral documents and statements of devotion, unlike our modern and scientific representations of the Earth, neither were they instruments of religious propaganda or preaching in visual form. They were rather representations of the world according to a particular concept, a concept that took account

of the text of Scripture and the teachings of the Christian faith. Assessed according to their criteria, medieval maps of the world were actually less "scientific" than any other document. (...) It is 'important to understand that to Christian scholars of late antiquity and the Middle Ages the Bible provided the key to all forms of knowledge. In the Sacred Scriptures was certainly the spiritual and religious, but also the most authoritative guide on the creation of the world and history of the human race. The Bible might not provide a great deal of geographical information, but it was the key reference in the study of cosmology, philosophy and history" (Alessandro Scafi 2007). Here is a review article about the Italian version of the book, including some of the beautiful maps, published by La Repubblica: Eden Maps by Alberto Manguel (PDF).

What about " Maps of the ancient sea kings "by Charles Hapgood All the legends on the "maps mysterious" Piri Reis, Finaeus, Buache ... which would have represented the Antarctic with centuries of advance of the actual discovery, have arisen from a particular book, " Maps of the ancient sea kings "published in 1966 by Charles Hapgood. The author in his preface, however, declared that he had inspired by the ideas of Captain Arlington Mallery, who wrote in 1951 " Lost America: The Story of Iron-Age Civilization Prior to Columbus . " I bought the book Hapgood, and I was really shocked in reading it. It does not seem possible that a scholar, as "amateur" in the field of cartography as he calls himself, can do a job so meticulous in appearance, but proves to be rather superficial and very uninformed. Hapgood does not take into account the notes and captions in different papers, even those well clear and legible, that define the names of certain geographical regions. It seems only interested in showing to all costs, even denying the evidence, that the land that appears in so many globes and maps of the sixteenth century, the Antarctic and the numerous contrary evidence is not interested. For example on page 66 and 103 public some details of Mercator's world map of 1569 by stating in no uncertain terms that the author has depicted the Antarctic. Report of a shape so based on the design of Mercator all geographical references of modern Antarctica, headlands, bays, seas ... silent and more evident that the information comes right from the same card in question. That great land beyond the Strait of Magellan is clearly defined by Mercator " Tierra del Fuego . "

The Tierra del Fuego in fact, until his circumnavigation in 1622 was considered the northernmost part of a huge and fabled southern continent, the " Terra Australis Incognita "that appears with this exact wording in many maps. The Tierra del Fuego had already been partially lined, headlands and inlets have already been called (even on the maps) with names that still bear. But Hapgood this aspect of the history of exploration and cartography do not care, so do not even care about the precise information found on maps. For example, on any page of the book is mentioned the "Terra Australis Incognita". Even in the chapters on cards or Finaeus Mercator in which the words, as in many other papers of the time, is so strongly emphasized. The following illustration of a particular world map of Jodocus Hondius, 1608 .

Hapgood decided a priori that the land beyond the Strait of Magellan "should be" Antarctica and begins to deform, stretch, rotate, correct papers to make sure that matches qualcos something 'else. And it fails because the two things, old maps and Antarctica are never. Also try to mention the "seismic profile" but it looks like even less, it does not put on this seismic profile numerini to make everything fit on one page and publish it on its own without comparing it with the old maps. Besides the "sub-glacial seismic profile" of 1958 published by Hapgood turned out to be inaccurate, the most recently detected with modern instruments revealed a profile very different.

To make everything fit, and the numbered references in the map of Piri Reis and Antarctica, Hapgood must write " omission of coastline "in three places. That is, the map of Piri Reis is so precise that ... is full of errors and omissions, and only amplify these alleged errors (the disappearance of long stretches of coastline, or the lack of 1000 km of sea between Tierra del Fuego and the Palmer Peninsula) can get to say that the ends of the map represents the distant Antarctica. Here is the "collage" made from Hapgood to be able to make sense of the Piri Reis map:

Some parts are shot in a sense, the other hand, changing scales, sizes, distances, are placed "omissions" to make everything fit ... But there are other clues that show the shallowness of Hapgood. A Page 99 talks about the " remarkable map of Hadji Ahmed " in 1559 and describes in detail the incredible precision of the Pacific Ocean coast of America, not yet fully explored. A beautiful reproduction of this map appears in full page, but mercilessly reveals the top right corner the words: Decembre 1865 .

This is an incision made in France in that year, which reproduces the old map of Ahmed the inevitable corrections to the original, due to modern geographical knowledge. In fact the original is much more approximate, but not the public Hapgood. There is not a single original copy, and there are only a few copies of an edition of 1795.

Hapgood Ahmed knows that the card is simply a reworking of the latest cordiform of Finaeus of 1534 (on page 234 shows a review of AE Nordenskiöld in this regard), but insists that in his opinion the cards are very different.

Certainly are different, and is also obvious. In the older the coasts of America are much more approximate and conjectural, not yet been well explored, but in versions created after centuries (especially in the version he published in 1865) these errors were partly correct. From these comparisons we can see that in every historical period, many maps were drawn based on previous models, adding new knowledge due to more recent explorations of new lands newly discovered. Hapgood also publishes the card Buache Philippe , 1739, and also in this case says without hesitation that the paper contains a representation of Antarctica. But does not mention a word of dense notes, written in French, that would have mandated to really understand what was shown: the description of the voyage of Captain Bouvet, and a "guess" about the shape of the mythical southern continent based on a few tracts of land achieved so far.

Perhaps Hapgood not speak French, because otherwise he would have done it a try. Or maybe he would not, however, whether this had undermined the foundations of his crazy theories. Moreover Hapgood does not publish another version of the same card Buache, the one without any "guess" about the shape of the Australian continent, but that describes only the few truly touched by the explorers to land at that time:

On page 67 of "Maps of the ancient sea kings" has published another paper Buache, which represents the portion of the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Africa. Hapgood immediately notice and comments with great fanfare a few large "islands" in the middle of the Atlantic and compares them with those that appear in the map of Piri Reis . Again, however, the card appears Buache a precise statement, in French " bas-fonds et Seches ", ie dry and shallow, dangerous for boaters and then reported in the chart. Hapgood may not have noticed this statement?

But we also, hypothetically, that the shoals were the remnants of ancient islands ... One thing a serious scholar would have to do is check what he writes next to Piri Reis mysterious island in the middle of the Atlantic: " And this caravel having encountered a storm was driven on this island. His name was Nicholas Giuvan. And in this 'island has many cattle with a horn. For this reason they called the island "Isle de Vacca," which means island of the cattle. " The impression is that Piri Reis had found the story of a sailor and has arbitrarily drawn island along the likely route traveled by ship, which is certainly not inspired by ancient maps depicting islands in the middle of the Atlantic. We want to talk about how the card is Hapgood Finaeus of 1531? Bluntly states that it is " truly authentic to the real map of Antarctica . " But given that the shape does not fit (and, moreover, is enormously greater than the real Antarctica reaching even to lick the Tropic of Capricorn) Hapgood is forced to rotate, stretch, distort it. Then, as it still does not fit, he decided to move the South Pole of 1000 km and decides that what he calls Finaeus clearly "Tropic of Capricorn" in reality would be the "Antarctic Circle". But then what the cartographer called "Antarctic Circle" will be what was that?

The reconstruction of Antarctica based on the paper of Finaeus, according to C. Hapgood.

The comparison between the Terra Australis Incognita of Finaeus and the real Antarctica. In all this great work of "interpretation" Hapgood says nothing essential information: Finaeus clearly written on that great continent, the phrase " Terra Australis Recenter invents sed nondum plene Cognita "or Terra Australis recently discovered but not fully explored . The same word that appears in many papers sixteenth century to define the Terra Del Fuego, discovered by Magellan in 1520, which was thought to be the end of a great continent.

Chapter 5 of " Maps Of The Ancient Sea Kings "is dedicated to the Dulcert Portolano , which is compared with other maps of the Mediterranean. Here Hapgood reaches heights of absurdity. Compare it to the Portolano Dulcert in 1339 with a paper based on the geographical concepts of Ptolemy (second century after Christ) and affirms that it is incomprehensible that a map drawn in the "Middle Ages", by dark sailors who had only instrument a compass, can be more accurate than one based on studies of the greatest scholar of ancient geography, which had at its disposal all the books in the Library of Alexandria and the assistance of the greatest scholars of the time. So according to Hapgood who designed the pilot's book of Dulcert, 1000 years after Ptolemy, it must have had access to old information and much more accurate than Ptolemy!

In gray (by Hapgood): a paper based on the geography of Ptolemy's confronted by Portolano Dulcert. To the right of the Portolano Dulcert. I'm not kidding. This delusion is located on pages 10 and 11 of "The Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings": " Ptolemy is the most famous geographer of the ancient world. He Worked in Alexandria in the 2nd Century AD, in the greatest library of the ancient world, He was acquainted with mathematics. He

shows, in His great work, The Geograhia (168) to modern scientific mentality. That Can we take lightly the medieval sailors of the fifteenth century, without any of His knowledge, and without modern instruments except a rudimentary compass - and without mathematics - could produce product to more scientific? " Hapgood may not realize the importance of science that was using the compass for mapping? Really think that the texts of the philosophers of antiquity could be more precise than a compass, however rudimentary, to provide the basics to create a map of the Mediterranean? This is not only "charming naivete" (as written in the introduction by John K. Wright Maps Of The Ancient Sea Kings ), a defect is much worse. But you could go on for many pages, because the book is full of "pearls" of this kind. And is based on this book that in recent decades have made the most fantastic theories about maps that no historian, geographer and cartographer had never considered "strange". No one considers strange because in all studies on the history of cartography and exploration, there are chapters on the myth of Terra Australis and the fact that this land would be identified from time to time, as the sailors were moving further south, in the new newly discovered lands. What then is revealed islands and parts of that mythical continent. The only one not familiar with the topics mentioned seems to be Hapgood, determined to prove his theories by manipulating and distorting and often hiding information. But it was good, was very successful. These are his books and those of his followers who sell millions of copies, not the more serious treating of the history of cartography. Diego Cuoghi "Here is another map. Know where it came from? Appears in the second treaty of Utriusque Cosmi Historia of Robert Fludd. Fludd is the man of the Rosy Cross in London, do not forget. Now what does our Roberto de Fluctibus as liked to be called? no longer has a map but a strange projection of the entire globe from the point of view of Polo, Polo's mystical course and therefore from the point of view of an ideal pendulum hanging on a key to perfect. This is a card designed to be put under the Pendulum " ( Umberto Eco, in Foucault's Pendulum , B

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