Yu ji tu. Historic map, Library of Congress
Stone rubbing dated 1903? One of the earliest stone maps, it consists of 5,110 grids, each grid is approximately 100 li.
Original stone was engraved in Fuchang 7 nian, i.e. 1136 A.D. The stone is now in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xi'an, China.
Shows coast lines, Yellow River, Yangtze River and its branches, Tai Lake, Dongting Lake, and Fanyang Lake.
Annotated in pencil: From Bull. de l'Ecole Française d'Extrème, Orient, vol. 3, 1903, facing page 214.
On bottom of map: Carte B.
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.
Pre - 1600s maps, atlases and manuscripts
During the Medieval period, European maps were dominated by religious views. All maps were, of course, drawn and illuminated by hand, which made the distribution of maps extremely limited. Medieval geography divided the world into three schematic parts: Asia, Europe, and Africa. Asia was depicted on top as the birthplace of Christ and the original site of the Garden of Eden. A T-O map (orbis terrarum, orb or circle of the lands; with the letter T inside an O), also known as an Isidoran map, is a type of early world map that represents the physical world as first described by the 7th-century scholar Isidore of Seville in his De Natura Rerum and later his Etymologiae. In this map format, Jerusalem was depicted at the center and east was oriented toward the map top. The design had great religious significance, with the “T” representing the central Christian symbol of the cross and placing Jerusalem at the center of the world. The “T” also separated the continents of the known world—Asia, Europe, and Africa—and the “O” that enclosed the entire image, represented the medieval idea of the world surrounded by water.