Thursday, June 7

Arabian Cartography in Riyadh

"One of the oldest maps of the Arabian Peninsula shows a rather square and out of proportion landmass, surrounded by a turquoise-coloured sea. Cities like Jeddah, Abu Dhabi or Aden are absent from the map – those in their place bear names that are no longer familiar. Small, peculiar islands dot the water, and a benign-looking sea monster swims off the coast of present-day Oman. While the monster is pure decoration, the rest – the sharp coastline, the misplaced islands – represent how the world was once seen. The map dates back to 1578, and is a reprint from the famous second century gazetteer ‘Geographia’, produced by the ‘father of cartography’ Claudius Ptolemy, a Greek scholar who headed the famous Alexandria Library between the years 127 and 150. ..."
W - King Abdulaziz Public Library

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