Tag Archives: ancient maps

Maps, Part 3: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future

"Gaia spacecraft" by ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

“Gaia spacecraft” by ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

In Parts 1 and 2 of Maps: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future, we explored how the ancients mapped the heavens and how modern space programs capture data today. Amazingly adept we humans have been at duality, both mythologizing and demystifying the worlds around us through time. As we calculate and calibrate and chronicle, we push the boundaries of our known existences and challenge ourselves to see where the impossible can become the possible. Take a look at the Gaia Probe that will map out the Milky Way using a billion pixel camera and two telescopes. The Milky Way was the stuff of dreams for millennia. Now the Milky Way will be rendered with a precision that boggles the mind and unlocks the mysteries that have intrigued the human imagination for centuries. Continue reading

Maps, Part 2: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future

3,600 year old Nebra Sky Disc.

3,600 year old Nebra Sky Disc.

From time immemorial humans have looked to the heavens for the sustenance given by sun and rain, for the celestial bodies that calibrated sowing and reaping, for the gods that needed adulation or appeasement, and for signs that there is a greater power that makes existence more than a throw of the dice. What is it that humans seek in mapping the ground under their feet, the seas that swell up before them and the heavens that arch high above? Continue reading

Maps, Part I: Defining and Explaining our Past, Present and Future

800px-FraMauroDetailedMapHistory can be difficult to understand. The way it is told and interpreted depends on the point of view of a person or a culture, the time period from which it is being viewed and a thousand other variables that affect what is actually perceived as the truth of history. One of the greatest tools for anyone wanting to learn more about the past is often overlooked. Maps do more than tell us how to get where we’re going. Maps give us visual representations of the past. They can illustrate growth and movement of civilizations, the spread of various cultures, patterns that repeat themselves throughout time and so much more. Today we’re bringing you some fantastic resources that will help to illuminate the past and explain it in ways you may never have considered. These are great sites to use on your own or in the classroom. Continue reading