Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Art History is the Best History

This is a T-O map from the 12th century. T-O maps were a common depiction of the world in medieval Europe. It has Africa, Asia, and Europe. Asia is bigger than Africa because it had the Holy Land, which Europeans tried and tried to take from the Muslims.* Africa and Europe were much more connected than people think now, because the Sahara used to be smaller. It is still growing through dessication, but in 500 BCE there were trans Saharan trade routes. Wow. And East Africa was in contact with Asia because the trade winds blew one way for six months and then the other way. wow.

So here is when each continent was discovered by Europeans (also by mankind, in the case of Antarctica)
1. Europe- prehistory, 40k years ago
2. Asia- I can't find it on the wiki page but proto Indo Europeans were in 4000 BCE**
3. Africa- my prof said 500 BCE, wiki says 332 with alexander the great but a different wiki article says contact was "older than recorded history"
~Carribean, and then I will just say the rest of the Americas: 1492~
4. South America: um, 1498? Columbus (he was italian, it was colonized by Spain) went to a bit of the coast of Brazil near Trinidad?
5. North America: again, it is a little hard to sort out but I think 1513, when the spanish found Florida. (spanish)
6. Australia- 1606 (Dutch, colonized by English)
7. Antarctica- 1820 (found apparently by 3 ships in one year, Russian, British, and US)

1820 just happened, the other day. I think my great grandmother died in 1999 at the age of 95. Antartica was discovered only 1 lifetime (~89 years) before my great grandmother was born. 1820-about the same time as photography and the calculator.

*Mormons should maybe stop evangelizing in foreign countries before Utah/New York (where Joseph Smith got the tablets from the angel Moroni) has, you know, problems.
**wow, I just clicked back to the article to check whether that was BCE or CE. I... wow.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Hi Caitlan- What's really cool, I think, is to look at the dates when humans of any sort first arrived in various parts of the world. Here's a very cool map that shows this stuff.

Of course, we're all Africans originally. And Europe was populated by many waves of migrations.

I had to learn about this for an exhibit I worked on at the American Museum of Natural History.