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Cartography in slave-holding China

In an era of slave society, geography and cartography in China has formed a centre of early and productive development. Although cartographic works were already mentioned in written documents of that time, stimulated by military targets, total unexpectedness turned out to be the findings in archaeological excavation in 1973 in southern China, near Chansha - three color maps on silk in the grave, dating back to 168 y. BC. Two of them, apparently based on surveys in nature, by its content and form anticipate detailed topographic maps that have appeared in Europe many centuries later. The third finding represent city map. On the picture you can see the representation of one of the maps, which is decreased 8 times. The picture depicts mountainous region of South China. The map’s size is 96X96 cm and scale is 1:180 000. It gives real picture of the river network, settlements, roads and relief. It is interesting, that settlements are shown by signs of two types: a rectangle for towns and circle for villages, each accompanied by a sign indicating the name of the settlement and the number of farms. The second map has the size of 78X98 cm and the scale is 1: 100000 and it is similar to the first map. These maps are wonderful fragments in the history of cartography.