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500-year-old globe carved on to ostrich egg

Posted on Friday, 23 August, 2013 | Comment icon 12 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: CC 3.0 Politikaner

 
The novel discovery dates back to the 1500s and could be the oldest globe of the New World ever found.

Cartographers have inscribed maps on to a number of different surfaces over the years, but the shell of an ostrich egg is particularly unusual. Originally purchased anonymously at a London map fair in 2012, the artifact eventually found its way to Belgian map collector Stefaan Missinne who has since been investigating its origins.

Although its clearly made from an ostrich egg, the globe has generated skepticism among experts because of its questionable origins and because it isn't completely clear how old it is. The level of calcium bone density in the egg indicates that it is definitely old, but it's possible the map was inscribed on to it at a later date.

"A recently discovered globe from the early 1500s, carved onto ostrich eggs, may be the oldest globe of the New World ever identified, experts say."

  View: Full article

 Source: National Geographic


  Discuss: View comments (12)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by MrScioscia on 23 August, 2013, 16:10
It's called Google Maps.
Comment icon #4 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 on 23 August, 2013, 17:11
And if it's 500 years old the shell of the egg hasn't decomposed why?
Comment icon #5 Posted by patagonianhorsesnake on 23 August, 2013, 17:35
eggshells, if i remember right, are made out of mostly calcium carbonate! so i can imagine that in the right conditions, they can last for a long time. it's a beautiful work of art in its own right (i love maps though) and pretty amazing to look at.
Comment icon #6 Posted by shrooma on 23 August, 2013, 17:54
it's a beautiful work of art in its own right (i love maps though) . me too PHS. the older the better. it's interesting to view how our ancestors saw the world. and not just with a eurocentric POV either- maps from everywhere work just as well- and each of them tell a story.....
Comment icon #7 Posted by Kaa-Tzik on 23 August, 2013, 18:35
I can see a gag involving Homer Simpson about this, probably also involving omlettes
Comment icon #8 Posted by Lava_Lady on 23 August, 2013, 21:24
Beautiful work!
Comment icon #9 Posted by patagonianhorsesnake on 24 August, 2013, 0:53
shrooma, i've got an atlas somewhere that was published around 1880. it's pretty neat to look at how much the world has changed in that comparatively short period of time. and it's an excellent illustration of how thinking has changed as well, and in many ways for the better. the section on "races of the world" is... not pleasant. on the main topic, i want to look at more maps from this period. see how people's minds in europe slowly took on the idea that there was not just a series of islands, but an entire populated continent over there.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Mikko-kun on 24 August, 2013, 11:27
I think this is undeniable proof that north america is actually atlantis that has risen again above the sea.
Comment icon #11 Posted by highdesert50 on 24 August, 2013, 19:03
Perhaps we can learn from this discovery at many levels ... an insightful metaphor from the past depicting the fragility of the world.
Comment icon #12 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 27 August, 2013, 22:19
I think this is undeniable proof that north america is actually atlantis that has risen again above the sea. Ha! I said the ruins of Atlantis were located in New Jersey!


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