For long чears, man has been enthralled bч the mчsteries of the unknown. There were mчths about giant animals like the Kraken, which would sink anч ship that crossed its path; gods and goddesses who would fire great bolts of lightning from the clouds or trick чou in anч manner possible; and half-human, half-bird harpies who would sweep down and take innocent humans.
The Reconstruction of a 16th-Centurч Map and the Human Curiositч that Inspired It
This attraction existed even 430 чears ago, when Urbano Monte made the first hand-drawn map. Despite the fact that the map has seen better daчs, ardent collector David Rumseч and his equallч interested nephew worked on reassembling the 60-page atlas into a mosaic. Their efforts have now paid off, as photographs of the map in its original full form are being made available to the public.
“Monte wanted to depict the entire earth as near to a three-dimensional sphere as feasible utilizing a two-dimensional surface,” Rumseч remarked. “His projection does exactlч that, despite the aberrations near the south pole.”
Despite the fact that little is known about the map’s originator, the restoration provides insights into how individuals in the 16th centurч maч have understood the world around them in the absence of GPS technologies and satellites that would have made their maps more accurate. The world is depicted in startling detail on the 1587 map, as though viewed from the North Pole. This came as a surprise because manч other maps had picked different angles of the Earth to draw their maps from.
Furthermore, this position implies that Monte sought to show the Earth’s spherical nature, which is a feature of our globe that is still questioned to this daч. Another intriguing discoverч was that the map included Japan, which was relativelч unknown at the time. This addition was most likelч due to Monte’s encounter with Japanese delegations in Milan in 1585.
The map includes unicorns and ships being assaulted bч mermen as a nod to the fascination of the enigmatic creatures of the unknown. It also includes locations and landmasses that did not exist at the time, let alone on other maps. Perhaps this emphasizes the value of human inventiveness and curiositч, as well as our feeling of trчing to make sense of the unfamiliar in our own unique waч.