Earliest Map of Africa Dates Back to 1554

A one-eyed giant seated over Nigeria and Cameroon, representing the mythical tribe of the “Monoculi”; a dense forest located in today’s Sahara Desert; and an elephant filling southern Africa. These are just some of the interesting features on the first obtainable map of Africa (click to enlarge).

africa-in-1554
Münster, Sebastian, 1489-1552. “Totius Africæ tabula, & descriptio uniuersalis, etiam ultra Ptolemæi limites extensa.” Woodcut map, with added color, 26 x 35 cm. From Münster’s Cosmographia uniuersalis (Basel, 1554)

via Princeton

2 COMMENTS

  1. Beautifully designed the map represents a high mark of h-century mapmaking, it shows Africa in a recognizable shape, with a more pointed southern cape.

  2. Between the time of this and Cary s map, British explorers have crossed the Sahara, descended the Niger to its outlet in the Gulf of Guinea, and visited large areas of west and southern Africa.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here