The Piri Reis Map

In 1513, Turkish admiral Piri Reis gathered his collection of ancient maps and proceeded to distill them into one map of the world. Half of the map was found in the Palace of Topkapu in 1929. It contained a number of astonishing features:

  • Correct longitudes 200 years before they could be accurately measured.
  • A clear outline of the northern coast of Antarctica, 300 years before it was discovered.
  • Details of the surface of Antarctica beneath the ice, which could only be recently determined with modern equipment.

The map is heavily annotated with details of the lands it depicts. None of Reis’s source maps have ever been recovered, but it is rumored that some of them were refugees of the Library of Alexandria.

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