What is the oldest known map?

The oldest map data from the year 1160 BC is known. Maps are already part of our life, however, a few centuries ago they did not even exist. The existence of some object arises from necessity and at that time they were not necessary, since the towns were small and the inhabitants did not have the need to venture outside their towns, since exile was considered worse than death, for this reason. The main reason they did not go further, and generally stayed to live there all their lives.

Even so, with time, little by little, trade was born, and they began to realize that by trading, their lives became much easier. It was no longer necessary to produce everything for oneself, but one could specialize in certain goods and buy the rest.

And with trade, you need to travel, and the more you travel, the more chances there are for new merchandise. These trips gave rise to the maps.

But what was the first map? It is impossible to know, however, at least we can know which is the oldest on record.

older map

The oldest map on record
(Click on the image to see it larger)

Bernardino Drovettiit is believed, was Napoleon’s Proconsul in Egypt during the first part of the 1820s. Little by little he became a student of Egyptian history and this led him to find a unique papyrus, which, perhaps without being Known by Bernardino himself, it is today considered the oldest known topographic map.

your story is something curious: Faced with the need to obtain large pieces of rock for the construction of statues that represent him, Ramses IV prepared a magnificent expedition to the Wadi Hammamat area, in the Eastern desert, a place rich in rocks of the type used for Egyptian monuments. Faced with this task Amennakhte, a high-ranking scribe, used a papyrus to draw a map of the region and thus document the organization of the expedition.

The map, which reflects a 15-kilometre extension of the Wadi area, emphatically details towns, routes and, above all, mining areas, all cataloged with a series of inscriptions that indicate distances, types of rocks and terrain characteristics – making it at the same time on a geological map. This map is currently in the Turin Museum.

-Note: Although there are previous geographical inscriptions (such as the Sumerian Clay Stela from 2300 BC) this is considered the first map since it is a document of a topological and referential nature.