• Germany's news in English
 

'Sensational' world map found after two centuries

The Local · 3 Jul 2012, 15:27

Published: 03 Jul 2012 15:27 GMT+02:00

The map, thought to be worth several hundred thousands euros, was lost after apparently being misfiled in Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University in the 19th century.

"We've made a sensational find," commented library director Klaus-Rainer Brintzinger.

Two researchers found the map between two 16th century prints on geometry "in an otherwise unremarkable volume that had been rebound in the 19th century," a statement said.

It is a slightly younger and smaller map than Waldseemüller's famous three-square-metre world map of 1507, sometimes referred to as “America's birth certificate”, as it was the first map to give the continent that name.

Chancellor Angela Merkel presented that map to the US on an official visit to Washington in 2007, when the map was exactly 500 years old. It has been registered as a world heritage document by UNESCO.

Until the new find in Munich, only four examples of the smaller version were known, one of which sold at auction for $1 million in 2005.

The newly unearthed map, one of the so-called globe segments, is believed to have been produced by Waldseemüller himself, who died in 1522.

The smaller versions were "at least as important for the dissemination of geographical knowledge in his time," as the three-square-metre map, the university said.

The new find shows the world divided into twelve segments which taper to a point at each end and are printed on a single sheet, which would form a small globe if cut out and assembled, with the three rightmost segments depicting a boomerang-shaped territory named America.

"Even in our digital age the originals have lost none of their significance and unique fascination," said Brintzinger in a statement. "We intend to make the map accessible to the public in digital form in time for the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the USA."

The map survived World War II despite air raids devastating the library - many of the older books were moved out in 1942.

Waldseemüller probably used information gleaned from the transatlantic voyages of Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci - after whom America is named - and unknown Portuguese and Spanish sources, to draw the 1507 map.

Historians still wonder why he named the new continent after Vespucci and not Columbus, who “discovered” America in 1492.

The Local/AFP/DPA/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:55 July 3, 2012 by paulspookys
Amirika was never doscovered. How do you "discover" something MILLIONS of people already knew about. You find natives living, you kill them and claim you discovered their land.
20:02 July 3, 2012 by PNWDev
The term discovered is used a little too loosely. They should explain it is when Europeans first learned of the continent, although some will point out Nords may have been there even earlier.

But it does make for a funny story (Columbus discovers America and when he steps foot on shore, he meets Native Indians). And yes, sadly, since that day, the Native American Indians would never be the same. The US government forever converted them from an efficient, self-sustaining people, to an entitlement-reliant people with still no sign of recovery.
20:53 July 3, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Chancellor Angela Merkel presented that map to the US on an official visit to Washington in 2007, when the map was exactly 500 years old.

Thanks Ange. Na, Amis? - world geography 101. Better late than never. :)
23:35 July 3, 2012 by pepsionice
Yep, just kinda interesting....all those Russian and Siberian Indians walking over and finding America around thirty thousand years ago. If there had just been an ice bridge over by Newfoundland....they would have marched onto England and Germany, and today be.....German Indians.
07:14 July 4, 2012 by ackmanx
@paulspookys: Of course America was "discovered". It was found out - people in Europe were made aware of it. The fact that people exist there doesn't mean another people can't discover it.
08:39 July 4, 2012 by szukalski
@Leo - The reason Angie gave the map to the Americans was to try and educate them that there are countries beyond theirs..
09:53 July 4, 2012 by jtech7
@szukalski: American businesses are in just about every country in the world...to include your tiny country (wherever that is)...don't hate ;0)
11:25 July 4, 2012 by SmittyBoy
@PaulSpookys - The Americas were 'discovered' in exactly the same way other places inhabited by stone-age cultures were discovered by the far more sophisticated Europeans. With our printed books, written laws, corporate bodies, and vastly superior technology, we dared to cross huge frontiers- with the expectation of returning home - in months instead of millenia. We established permanent settlements, and permanent lines of communication, on the other side of the planet within a single lifetime.

That's why the word 'discovered' is used; not because we can't all remember that other people were already there.
14:01 July 4, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@jtech7

`to include your tiny country`

Maybe Szukalski is from tiny Canada or Russia?

Time for you to take a look at that map, too. :)

@szukalski

I think this explains why we made our comments. :)
14:58 July 4, 2012 by jtech7
I said, don't hate, this includes you, Mr Leo Strauss...

Maybe you should learn how to use the internet, and well, this site, before you state people come from Canada or Russia...per his profile, he's obviously from Neuseeland...

My point here, is this is a cool story. And more importantly, bashing someone's country is ignorant, no matter the situation.

True colors received...hehe
15:52 July 4, 2012 by Floriansamsel
@jtech7

How can you expect people from other countries not to hate you? Because American businesses ARE in every tiny country, we have got the world-wide crisis. Thank you so much. If you don't believe or have not heard of this before, just use the internet again...hehehe - just kidding.
22:44 July 4, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@jtech7

`per his profile, he's obviously from Neuseeland...`

Yeah? Then why did you write in your first post:

@szukalski: American businesses are in just about every country in the world...to include your tiny country (wherever that is)

Wherever that is = New Zealand?

Anyway, for the record (and the profile(s) out there) I would just like to say lima charlie that I am a fan of the U-S-A!

PS Ain`t hatin` j, just playin`

@Floriansamsel

Pass mal auf- der hat auch deine Akte ;)
10:34 July 6, 2012 by szukalski
@jtech7

Kiwi is just one of my nationalities.. some of the non-nationalistic empire states allow this. ;)

My comment was more of a statement about American geographical knowledge (do a quick google and you will quickly see what I mean) and the fact that there seems to be an attitude of "the earth revolves around us and we won't even bother learning what is outside our door". But I was just having a laugh.. although I think your statement should have been:

"

American businesses are going under in just about every country in the world.

"

trollface.jpg
20:55 July 8, 2012 by jtech7
@szukalski:

LOL, there you go again Mr Trollface...but ok, I'll bite ;)

Last time I checked, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sun, Facebook, Intel, etc. etc. etc. are doing great (should I switch industries to give you more examples)?

No need for jealousy, but, if you truly have the desire, try going a week or two without using something sold by an American business (yes, this includes your computer as well). So, make fun of us all you want, in this case I will ALWAYS have the last laugh...hehehe

A cheap shot is a cheap shot....
Today's headlines
German court: Ban on refugee demos must stay
Anti-refugee demonstrators carry a sign accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of being a "traitor to the nation" this week in Heidenau. Photo: DPA

German court: Ban on refugee demos must stay

1 day ago

Update: A German court on Friday night reinstated a ban on rallies in an eastern town hit by violent anti-migrant protests, overturning an earlier decision that found the restriction to be "illegal".

Footballers gone wild
Neuer's 'glass palace' angers idyllic village
Tegernsee is a famous beauty sport. Photo: DPA

Neuer's 'glass palace' angers idyllic village

1 day ago

Villagers in the picturesque Bavarian region of Tegernsee are bristling at World Cup-winning Germany goalkeeper and Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer's plan to build a huge glass villa on the shores of their beautiful lake.

Interview
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Canadian composer and performer Owen Pallett. Photo: Brian Vu

'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'

1 day ago

The Local speaks with Oscar-nominated Canadian musician Owen Pallett about performing at legendary Berlin club Berghain - and just why the world's artists are so fascinated with the German capital.

Germany name squad for crunch Scotland match
Liverpool's Emre can has been called up to the Germany squad to face Scotland and Poland. Photo: DPA

Germany name squad for crunch Scotland match

1 day ago

Liverpool's uncapped defender Emre Can was on Friday called up to the Germany squad for the world champions' forthcoming key Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland and Scotland.

How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
How will life for Brits in Germany change if the Brexit happens? Photo: DPA

How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears

1 day ago

Greece is the talk of the town this year. But in 2016, it will be Britain questioning its EU membership. The referendum outcome could be life altering for many Brits living in Germany.

Honest senior rewarded for handing in €12,000
An 87-year-old pensioner found the cash in the bin. Photo: DPA

Honest senior rewarded for handing in €12,000

1 day ago

After throwing away €12,000 this week, a landlord in North Rhine-Westfalia thought he'd made one of the most expensive blunders of his life. But the money made it home safely, police said on Friday – and all thanks to an honest pensioner.

Elite cops' hazing ritual: eat ice cream off thighs
A Cologne SEK unit on deployment in 2013. Photo: DPA

Elite cops' hazing ritual: eat ice cream off thighs

1 day ago

Officers from Cologne's elite Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) police unit should be punished for hazing practices they inflicted on new members, an official in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said on Thursday.

Knut autopsy could help human disease sufferers
Knut died in front of visitors at Berlin Zoo in 2011. Photo: DPA

Knut autopsy could help human disease sufferers

1 day ago

Four years after Berlin's celebrity polar bear Knut died, a neuroscientist has discovered the cause of death - an autoimmune disorder which affected his brain.

Army buys in new guns to replace defective G36
A German soldier armed with a G36 rifle during training exercises in Poland. Photo: DPA

Army buys in new guns to replace defective G36

1 day ago

Some German soldiers will be carrying different weapons within a year as the Defence Ministry scrambles to replace standard rifle which loses accuracy under hot temperatures.

Climate change
Sweltering summer has climatologists sweating
Dried out soil in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Sweltering summer has climatologists sweating

1 day ago

Heat over 40 degrees, weeks without rain, sudden storms and flash floods – in the summer of 2015 Germany experienced all these things. Are these extremes set to become the norm?

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,058
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd