A Babylonian World Map Author(s): H. G. Lyons Reviewed work(s): Source: Geography, Vol. 14, No. 3 (AUTUMN, 1927), pp.

245-246 Published by: Geographical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40562014 . Accessed: 29/10/2011 21:29
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POST-MATRICULATION GEOGRAPHY. Mr Spary's paper on post-matriculation geography, printedin your that my experiences the WilliamEllis School in Springnumber, suggested and the LondonSchool of Economics to mightbe of interest some of your members. Mr Spary'steachingis of greatvalue in thatit is combined witha study ' of such *source-books as Chisholm and the StatisticalAbstract. The student as Mr Spary suggests, to post-matriculation is, frightened sully his matriculation certificate.He wonders, perhaps,how he did manageto get and that therewas anything like through, does not wishit to be imagined a fluke about it. A good libraryis essential to good geography teaching. Mr Spary's method is simplicityitself. Having recommended extensive reading the throughout term,he proceedsto give the studenta chance to display his knowledge a questionin the terminal examination.This is usually by wordedsomething follows " Write for half an hour on any topic in as :whichyouare particularly interested.'*Here is the rewardfora fewhours intelligent reading. On proceeding the University was amazed to discoverthat of the to I for B.Sc. Econ. Examination, seventystudentsstudying the Intermediate standard. What is onlyeighthad taken geography to matriculation up the standardthat is expectedof these students? Are they requiredto advancetheirknowledge geography of fromwhattheylearntin the fourth formbeyond thatrequired the matriculation examiners? If so it seems by a colossal task to perform one year. in A welcome innovation such students for will be the restriction study of to certainspecified thisyear theycan regions. For the Inter. Examination take the BritishIsles, Europe, India, and South America,and, together with a generalknowledge worldclimateand surfacefeatures, of they will be quite alright. These remarkswill, it is hoped, show the urgentneed for more postmatriculation in geography secondaryschools, and the treatmentof the additionto fourth subject as a science and not merelyas an interesting formtime-tables, be forgotten to the is immediately fifth reached. J. A. Thoenlby.


In the largecollection cuneiform of tabletsat the BritishMuseumthere is one which of special interest students geography cartography, is of and to sinceit bears thedrawing a Mappa Mundiwhichwe may take as repreof the Babylonianscribe's conception of the worldas then (circa senting 1000 B.C.) knownin the valley of the Euphrates. This tablet has been publishedby the Trusteesof the BritishMuseum in 1906in Part XXII. of Cuneiform Texts fromBabylonianTablets, etc., Plate 48, together with a brief description, fromwhichthe following is taken: " The map representsBabylonia and Assyriaand the neighbouring districts a circularplain surrounded the Persian Gulf. Near the as by centreof the plain is markedthe city of Babylon,and to the rightof it in an oval outlinethe land of Assyria. The positionsof othercities are indicatedby circles,withcharactersmeaning" city" in threecases, and the nameDûr-iluin the onlyotherinstancelabelled by name. Bit-Iakinu, the southern district Babylonia, markednear the Persian Gulfon the of is edge of a regionlabelled as full of canals and marshes. On the opposite side of the circularplain, evidently intendedroughly for the north,is a marked district labelledin the part enclosedby a curvedline on theright aboveas mountainous. the Beyondtheeircular zone, labelledas Marratum, Persian Gulf, are drawna series of triangles with their bases restingon l region or ' the outeredge of the zone; each of these is labelled Nagû, *district,' knewof the existence showingthat the scribeor draughtsman of otherlands beyondthe Persian Gulf, but ha4 a veryvague conception withregardto them,"

A Babylonian World Map.



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This circularformfor the knownworld surrounded a zone of ocean by is familiärto us in the works of the ancientGreek geographers, in and of the mediaeval The conception perhapsa naturalone lo is many maps. an observerof those early times as he looked upon the circularhorizon beforehim,but it is interesting knowthat maps of this kind were in to existencein Babylonia,and they doubtlessinfluenced early Greek ideas. Plate 49 in the same volumeshows threefragments other tablets in of whichmaps of partsof Babylonand of another cityhad been drawn. H. G. Lyunb.


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of Reproducedby kind permission the British MuseumTrustees.


of The Committee the Leplay House EducationalTours in Associationwould like to informall those interested and Historical, Geographical, Sociologicalstudies,that during vacation there the coming will be a visitto Sicilyto Christmas of the its study history the Island,mainly through architecture, underthe leadership Mr. Stanley of F.R.I.B.A. ; also Ramsey, a Regional SurveyMeetingwill be held at the College des of P. Ecossais, Montpellier, invitation Professor Geddes. by of The studiesunderthe direction Mr. GeorgeMorris,B.Sc. For fullparticulars writeto Miss Margaret Tatton,F.R.G.S., S.W.I. Leplay House, 65, BelgraveRoad, Westminster,

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