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Paragraph on “When was the first map drawn?” complete paragraph for Class 9, Class 10, Class 11 and Class 12

When was the first map drawn?


The Egyptians were the first people to have been known to draw maps, which would have been as early as 3000 BC. However, their estimations were very wrong, as they thought Egypt was the centre of the world and this world was surrounded by water. But none of these maps remain, as they we drawn on papyrus, which is a material paper and so it has long ago rotted into dust.

The next people to chart their world were the Babylonians who carved their maps onto clay tablets and then baked them. Some of these which are 4,500 years old can be seen in the British Museum, in the UK, and in the Museum of Harvard University in the USA.

Both the Egyptians and the Babylonians believed that the earth was flat. It was not until near the end of the period of Greek Civilisation, about i,800 years later, that man first thought that the world was round. In the third century before Christ, a Greek scientist, Eratosthenes, estimated the size, that is, the circumference of the world and based his calculations on the earth being spherical.

He came to this conclusion by his observations of the sun. He knew that the sun is so far away that its light reaches us in almost parallel rays. He noticed that when the sun was overhead at the city of Syene it was seven degrees away from overhead at Alexandria —so this meant that the earth could not be flat because that would have meant that the sun should have been directly overhead at both Alexandria and Syene at the same time. He then proceeded to measure the circumference of the earth, basing his calculations on his i knowledge of there being 36o degrees in a circle. His estimation was almost exactly right — at 40,00o km (25,000 miles) it remained the most accurate for 2,000 years. 

Eratosthenes, who would be known as a mathematician and a geographer, carried y out his work at a library he set up in Alexandria. This was immediately following the days of Alexander the Great’s conquest of a vast

empire Alexander’s achievements gave man a new outward-looking approach to the world. He had formerly thought of only as his immediate environment. This spirit, and Eratosthenes’ observations of the sun, resulted in the First maps of importance being drawn.



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