Belgian finds oldest map of Western world
23 November 2005
BRUSSELS — A Belgian archeologist has unearthed the oldest known land map in the Western world.
The map is more than 2,500 years old and clearly depicts part of Italy, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported on Wednesday.
It was already well known to academics that the ancient Greeks used maps, but this is the first time that a map has been found.
It is small, measuring 3cm by 6cm and is etched onto a black bit of pottery.
The ‘heel’ of the ‘boot’ of Italy is clearly seen and place names written in Ancient Greek can also be seen, such as Soleto — a city which still exists.
The discovery in Italy proves that there was contact between Greece and Italy some 2,500 years ago.
The map was found by Belgian archaeologist Thierry Van Compernolle, who usually works in the French city of Montpellier, broadcaster VRT reported.
Van Compernolle found the map two years ago, but first conducted extensive investigations to determine that it was not a hoax.
However, it has since been proven the map is authentic.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news