Oldest map of the New World

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Oldest map of the New World engraved on a 500-year-old ostrich egg, circa 1500s.

Dating back to 1504, the Ostrich Egg Globe is significant because it is the first globe that includes the New World on it. The New World portion is highly inaccurate – North America is depicted as a cluster of islands – but it nonetheless shows that the globemaker had knowledge of the existence of the New World. The globe was made using the rounded halves of two different ostrich eggs that were then put together to form an orb. On the Ostrich Egg Globe, and on the Hunt-Lenox Globe for which it was a prototype, there is a phrase that translates, “Here be dragons.”

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