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81 - The First Turkish World Map, by Kashgari (1072)

February 22, 2007, 12:01 PM

kashgari_key1.jpg

This map, made by Mahmud Kashgari bin Husayn bin Muhammad, was included in his Divanu Lügat-it-Türk, a scientific work he published in 1072 (AD) for the benefit of the Caliph of Baghdad. It is the first world map of Turkish origin known in history, and is preserved at the General National Library (Millet Genel Kütüphanesi) in Istanbul. It is presented on a stamp issued in 1972, on the occasion of the map’s nine-hundredth birthday.

The map is oriented with the east on top (but is shown here with north on top) and centres on the Turkic areas in Central Asia, which include Kashgar, the birth-place of Kashgari. The map scale is reduced towards the edges of the map. The geographical features are colour-coded thus:

  • Blue – rivers
  • Green – seas
  • Light yellow – deserts
  • Red – mountains
  • Yellow – cities, countries, lands and peoples

This map was taken from the excellent stamp website mentioned in the previous post, and is overlaid with numbers 1-24 to indicate references to (mostly) real places. Which are:

  1. Bulgaria (judging by its location, probably the so-called Wolga-Bulgaria rather than present-day Bulgaria)
  2. Caspian Sea
  3. ‘Rus’ (Russia)
  4. Alexandria
  5. Egypt
  6. Tashkent
  7. Japan (surrounded by a green semicircle)
  8. China (with water to the west)
  9. Balasagun (now in Kyrgyzstan, then the ‘centre of the world’)
  10. Kashgar (the map-maker’s birthplace)
  11. Samarqand
  12. Iraq
  13. Azerbaijan
  14. Yemen
  15. East Somalia
  16. East Sahara
  17. Ethiopia
  18. North Somalia
  19. Indus
  20. Hindustan
  21. Ceylon (Adam’s Peak or Jebel Serandib, indicated by the red dot on the south of the island, supposedly is where Adam was exiled to after being kicked out of Paradise)
  22. Kashmir
  23. Gog and Magog (Biblical/legendary land walled off from the world by a mountain range)
  24. The World-Encircling Sea

 

81 - The First Turkish Worl...

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