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First Maps

Discussing the progress of cartography, Strabo refers to the maps drawn by "ancient", but following his own principle - to ignore all but the most influential of the "modern" writers - he does not speak about anything that might tell us how actually ancient are these maps". He does not mention any of the author by name and generally very vaguely talks about the development of cartography till Homer. Nevertheless, the drawing of maps is perhaps the most ancient kind of primitive art, because from the very beginning, this art had the purpose. This art is as old as the first lines drawn by man on the sand or on the wall of the cave. Moreover, the ability to represent a piece of the earth's surface - at least a little - with the help of sticks and stones, or a piece of chalk so universal, that perhaps it may even be considered as a saving. Countless researchers had to deal with primitive tribes, noted this fact. When all other methods of communication do not work to the rescue comes the universal language of primitive map or chart.

The earliest maps were based on personal experience and familiarity with the terrain. They showed the way through the forest to the neighboring tribe; places to find game, or salt water; the direction and distance to the enemy tribes. The nomadic way of life somewhat complicated picture; wandering tribes had to know how to cross the desert without dying of thirst, and how to get home for many miles after the summer grazing. To start a war - that is, to buy land in most ancient way - you need to know the territory of neighbors and well orient in it. To trade with other tribes and peoples one need to have even more knowledge about the distances and directions; the further are located markets, the more accurate must be laid routes. With the spread of civilization, knowledge about the distances and directions were becoming increasingly important.

Similar to records, geographical descriptions and drawings, telling us how to get from one place to another, were applied - in some way - on stone, papyrus or parchment. Almost none of these records survived.

Ancient maps and globes, mentioned by Strabo, are divided into two large groups: the view of the world in general, and maps of small areas.

Which group came first - is unclear, since on the earliest maps the native towns can be regarded as a map of the world, because for a person who draw a map, depicted on it just that: his own world - a flat surface, the center of which, or the observation point, can be defined as X, and the limits of which are limited to the terms of the horizon, as seen from this point.

The earliest evidence of the manufacture of map came from Babylon, where cadastral surveying for the purpose of property tax was carried out during the time of Sargon of Akkad. In the British Museum there are clay tablets dating back 2300-2100 BCE, with records on land shooting. At one of these tablets was depicted a rough part of Lower Babylonia surrounded by "salt river", or Ocean.

Papyrus, which is stored in the Turin Museum, depicts a triumphant return Networks I (1366-1333 BCE) from Syria; it shows the road from Peluso in Geroopol decorated with exquisite paintings.

Even in the earliest literary works related to mapping, it is possible to find references to the map of the world - it does not matter, what they thought at that time about the size and shape of the Earth. Hecataeus, so glibly writing about his travels around the world, left a bronze plaque engraved with the words "the whole range of the earth, the sea and the river."

Democritus from Abdera (450-360 BCE), put forward with the atomic theory of Leucippus, produced a map of the inhabited part of the world. Dicaearchus from Messi, a pupil of Aristotle (326-296 BCE), made the description of the Earth and illustrated it with maps. Apparently, part of his work was also a treatise on the method of measuring the height of the mountains.

There is mention of a sufficient number of early globes to conclude that globes have become quite widely used soon after, as the theory of the sphericity of the Earth has been generally recognized. In the Museum of Naples there is a two-meter diameter globe, made, no doubt, in the IV BCE. The Globe rests on the shoulders of a human figure, depicting Atlanta.