Old World Maps

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Many Americans whose families originated in Europe or Asia consider those continents to be the old world. Indeed, they are where the roots of Western civilization first took hold, especially in Europe. European explorers covered the globe for several centuries, sailing to such far away sites as Newfoundland and Greenland in search of fishing grounds. Others headed further south looking for a route to China, and we know where they landed!

Old world maps of Europe and the Mid-East were created by those travelers. Most of the ancient cartographers believed that they were mapping the entire world when they devised their maps. It is now possible to find old world maps on the Internet, some of them dating back many centuries, and many of them displaying ingenuity, beauty, and some accuracy.

Rare Old World Maps

Obviously, the age of some of these maps makes them extremely valuable. They can also be valuable because of who created them and what design or period they originated in. Maps dating back to Greek and Roman heydays are almost priceless. Yet you can find maps from more modern times that can be obtained for less than you might imagine.

One site I visited had old world maps dating from around 1500 and for sale at prices starting under $1000. In general, the older maps are more expensive, but many old world maps are for sale for only a few hundred dollars. Once you have decided which areas you want old world maps from, it becomes a simple matter of going online and entering a region and a date at a vendor's website.


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