The Piri Reis map is a world map compiled in 1513 by the Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis. The map shows the western coasts of Europe and North Africa and the coast of Brazil with reasonable accuracy. Various Atlantic islands, including the Azores and Canary Islands, are depicted, as is the mythical island of Antillia and possibly Japan.
The map’s historical importance lies in its demonstration of the extent of global exploration of the New World by approximately 1510, and in its claim to have used a map of Christopher Columbus, otherwise lost, as a source. Piri also stated that he had used ten Arab sources and four Indian maps sourced from the Portuguese.
On the other hand the map alters all previous conceptions of our pre-historic ancestors abilities. The Piris Reis map from 1513 has a few interesting features that have started some debates within the cartographic community:
– Precise details of the Antarctic coastline (which has been frozen over since around 4,000 BC)-
– Is one of several ‘portellano’s’ which appear to have a geometric basis of unknown provenance
– The map has pre-Columbian provenance
– The map shows the coastline of America
– The map shows accurate use of Longitude and Latitude.
– The map-builders used ‘Spherical geometry’
– The map centres at the junction of the 23.5˚ parallel (Tropic of cancer), and the longitude of Alexandria
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