The oldest map of the world

The oldest map of the world

The oldest extant map of the world is depicted on a clay tile. The map was found in Iraq, in 19 century. Now it is stored in the British Museum.

This Babylonian map of the World dates back to 6 century BC. According to cartographer Ruben Galchyan, the map shows the world in the form of a circle, surrounded by “bitter” waters, in which there are 7 islands. In the center of the map is Babylon, next to it Armenia and Assyria are depicted. Another 7 cities are depicted in a form of small circles. The part called Bit Jakinu is probably the modern Iraqi Marshes. From the mountains of Armenia, the Euphrates River flows through Babylon and Marshes, and reaches the Persian Gulf.

On the back of the tile there is a text that describes seven islands in the sea and unusual creatures living there. The islands are depicted in a form of triangles, most of which are damaged and illegible.

Babylonian Map of the World

Babylonian Map of the World – The oldest map of the world

In this drawing the inscriptions are described in English.

Dimensions 8×12,5 cm

British museum, London. Ant. Ref. 92687

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