Ancient Maps

Climatic and Land Changes Suggested by The Ancient Maps

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Ancient Maps

There is a mythological story of the ancient flood that is common across all civilizations. However, it is a myth but the approximate period when this catastrophic event occurred was around 12000 years before. And today by science and the climate and land changes suggested by the ancient maps, we have found out that during that period the rise in sea level happened due to some reason (might be due to finish of ice age) and through that, there is a possibility of occurrence of that mythological event.

In the same way, another ancient map called general Piri Re’is map gives the indication of the absence of the ice layer in Antarctica and marked North America just near to Antarctica.

Likewise, there are many other ancient maps that suggest different geographical regions than today. Lakes, mountains or islands that were present in the past and not present today were marked in these ancient maps.

Last Ice Age and Pole Drift

According to the interpretation gained by much radiocarbon and other evidence, a great shift of the earth’s crust began about 17,000 years ago. It was, of course, a slow movement, requiring perhaps as much as 5,000 years for its completion.

North America was shifted southward, and with it the whole western hemisphere, while the eastern hemisphere was shifted northward. The effect was to cause the melting of the great ice cap in North America while placing northern Siberia in the deep freeze.

This theory seems to succeed quite well in explaining not only the end of the ice age in North America and Europe but also the long-standing mystery of the quantities of frozen animals that have been found in the Siberian tundra.

One of the Indian scholar Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak gave the theory of Arctic habitation of Aryans by studying Science and Hindu Scripture Vedas together and explain the human presence in the Arctic region in ancient times when the certain astrological phenomenon occurred which made Poles temperature more mild and moderate and favorable for life.

The Path of the Pole

Last Pole Shift

When the North Pole was in Hudson Bay the South Pole would have been located in the ocean off the Wilkes Coast (see Fig.) and as a result, most of the continent would have been ice-free. The displacement of the crust would have located the pole where it is now right in the center of the continent and brought about the vast expansion of any ice formations. At the same time, of course, the disappearance of the North American ice cap and the consequent warming of the Atlantic Ocean slowly melted the glaciers of Europe.

In Summary, there is a chance when sometime in the past, Antarctica was free from ice.

Study of Ross Sea Ice Sheet

Roe Sea Ice Sheet

All these kinds of sediments were found in the cores taken from the Ross Sea bottom. As you will see from the illustration there were many different layers of sediment in the coring tubes.

The most surprising discovery was that a number of the layers were formed of fine-grained, well-assorted sediments such as is brought down to the sea by rivers flowing from temperate (that is, ice-free) lands.

As you can see, the cores indicate that during the last million years or so there have been at least three periods of temperate climate in Antarctica when the shores of the Ross Sea must have been free of ice.

Antarctic ice cap started its expansion about 17,000 years ago. We can see in the above picture, in the Ross Sea cores evidence that the Ross Sea became glacial only about 6,000 years ago.

Method to Find Out Location of Poles In Past

It has long been known that particles of rocks made of iron-containing minerals take on the directions of the earth’s magnetic field at the time of the formation of the rocks.

Due to the iron in them, they behave like tiny magnets, they are polarized and their north and south poles are aligned with the directions of the earth’s magnetic field in that locality. They then tend to point toward the north and south magnetic poles of the earth.

They can take on this magnetic orientation only when soft sediments are turning into rock or when molten rock is cooling and solidifying. Once a rock has solidified, the magnetic directions of the particles tend to be preserved indefinitely unless the rock is later subjected to extreme temperatures or pressures.

By taking samples of rocks of the same age from different parts of the earth it is now possible to find the positions of the magnetic poles of the earth within a small margin of error for different geological periods.

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According to the World Map of Eratosthenes


In this map of Eratosthenes, the Capsian sea is opening into the Arctic Ocean. This cannot be dismissed as a mere legend because we know that to this day there are arctic seals and other arctic marine species in the Caspian.

Caspian Sea

These indicate beyond a reasonable doubt a former connection with the Arctic Ocean. If it were not for the map of Eratosthenes, and other maps influenced by it, one would naturally conclude that such an arctic connection could only have existed far back in geological time, because of the vast land changes involved.

At present the Caspian is separated from the Arctic Ocean by the whole width of Siberia, that is, by about 1000 miles of land, and between the Caspian and the ocean, there is a great deal of high hilly country containing the sources of the Volga and Ural Rivers.

The Piri Re’is Map

Piri  Reis Map

The climate of Africa and Spain

The facsimile color reproduction of the Piri Re’si map has many details that suggest a well-watered Africa, including a number of lakes. Farther north, in Spain, there are indications of a large central lake which would have occupied the present valleys south and southeast of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

The Caribbean section

Piri Reis Map comparison with latest map

We have an interesting problem with respect to Cuba. The western half of the island is missing. Instead of the western half, there is a coastline where the island is cut off, with some islands lying beyond. There is a strong suggestion here that when the prototype of this map was drawn the western half of the present island was below sea level.

The Zeno Map of the North

Zono map

This map is remarkable for the number and extent of the land changes it suggests. We have seen that there is good geological confirmation of these in the instance of Iceland.

The map also suggests subsidence in the region of the Faroe Islands. In place of them, it shows a very large island extending about 150 miles north and south and about 300 miles east and west.

Such an extreme exaggeration is improbable on a map that contains so much accurate information. The same consideration applies to a still larger island shown extending from 55 to 60° N., and from 20 to 30° W., in a part of the ocean where no land exists today.

The Ptolemaic Map of the North


We see clear evidence of the Greenland ice sheet. The map actually shows the sheen of the sunlight reflected from the ice surface. The appearance of Greenland on the map would be surprising enough since the Ptolemy maps were recovered in the early 15th century, more than half a century before the discovery of America.

The fact that the ice sheet covers only part of the island is far more surprising. For an explanation of this detail, we have to go back to geological history and reconsider the implications of my assumption that Hudson Bay lay at the North Pole during the last ice age.


These ancient maps were drawn long back in the past and they contain geographic information that was present at that time. There should not be any surprise if some geographical region is not present currently or present in modern times but not present in maps. As there are continuous geographical changes happens on earth it is quite possible that this mismatch may be noted.


All the above research was done by Charles H. Hapgood and this article is an extract of one of the chapters from his book “Maps the Ancient Sea Kings”.

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1 thought on “Climatic and Land Changes Suggested by The Ancient Maps”

  1. John Albert Tate

    You’re making some big assumptions here. Firstly, you’re assuming ancient peoples had the same ability to measure and depict cartography as we do today, or even 200 years ago.

    The second assumption you’re making is that these maps were made from first hand information, rather than from descriptions. Professional cartographers are a relatively recent invention. You had astronomers providing STAR CHARTS, which were by far the most accurate method of navigation, but what you REALLY had mostly was WAYFINDING, which was using landmarks to figure out where you were going and maintaining a heading.

    The third assumption you’re making dovetails with the wayfinding thing, you’re assuming that their method of navigation and the purpose of their maps were the same as ours. Modern maps are meant to be cross referenced with, at the very least, a compass… something that in a PORTABLE form was a recent invention, and not something folks had the habit of carrying around when it wasn’t well made (the whole bit of lodestone on the end of a straw set in a bucket for ships for example). So again, maps served a very different purpose because they were meant to function as part of wayfinding.

    That’s why rivers are exagerated in size, and you end up having things that just look weird compared to our modern maps.

    Good article on why medieval maps of characters would never look the same as they’re depicted in the front of a book.

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