Sub-titled 'Putting the World in Perspective', maps reflect the preoccupations of humans down the ages, from Aztec images describing landscape and cultural history to Middle Ages charts prioritising spiritual geography over topography, and colonial maps displaying political land grabs as fact. Even if you don't know your triangulation from your trigonometry, these exquisitely drawn colour renditions of the world as man understood it at the time are endlessly fascinating, be it the countryside around Nippur from the 14th to 13th century BC on a clay tablet, a Mawangdui silk map from 168BC, a Madaba mosaic from Jordon made AD542-70, a map of the Nile made around 1000-1050, maps of the Islamic Balkhi school looking like beautiful abstract images more than cartography showing southern Russia and Azerbaijan in 952, the St Omer Crusader Map of Jerusalem, 40 years' work gathering information and completed in 1461 the gazetteer of the Great Ming, an astonishing bird's-eye view of Venice published in 1500, the Codex Mendoza, Cortéz map, a depiction of the city's troops in northwest Iran 1534-5, Osaka in a woodcut from 1655, the oldest known Maori map of New Zealand 1793, painted on silk and 23 feet long, an 18th century prefectural map of Southeast China, and New London, 1066, depicted by Christopher Wren. The Cassini map, the first British OS map 1801, the Turin papyrus, voyages to the Holy Land, strip map journeys in Britain, Scott's last journey, the Carter Marina by Olaus Magnus with volcanoes spewing fire visible in Iceland, the Gerardus Mercator map of the North Pole, John Smith's map of Virginia 1607-9, Pieter Goos' 17th century engraving of the East Indies, used as a sea chart, Australia, Sicily drawn by an Arab geographer, the Martellus World Map of 1490, the World Map of Juan Vespucci manuscript produced in 1503, Joan Blaeu's Atlas Major published 1662-7, (a phenomenally ambitious undertaking comprising 11 volumes and 4,608 pages and 594 maps drawn from the Dutch East India Company archives) to the iconic London Underground Map by Harry Beck, light maps and satellite photographs and imagery. Blurring the line between maps and photographs for our view of the world, a gorgeous collection, all in colour. 192 large pages in a brand new first-time-discounted publication.
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