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By developing the broadest and most inclusive definition of the term “map” ever adopted in the history of cartography, this inaugural volume of the History of Cartography series has helped redefine the way maps are studied and understood by scholars in a number of disciplines. It promotes the investigation of the map as a repository of culturally-embedded and graphically-portrayed understandings about space that broadens our knowledge of how people, at different times and places, have experienced their world.

Volume One addresses the prehistorical and historical mapping traditions of premodern Europe and the Mediterranean world. Cartographic themes include an emphasis on the spatial-cognitive abilities of Europe’s prehistoric peoples and their transmission of cartographic concepts through media such as rock art; the emphasis on mensuration, land surveys, and architectural plans in the cartography of Ancient Egypt and the Near East; the emergence of both theoretical and practical cartographic knowledge in the Greco-Roman world; and the parallel existence of diverse mapping traditions in the Medieval period.

Throughout the volume, a commitment to include cosmographical and celestial maps underscores the inclusive definition of “map” and sets the tone for the breadth of scholarship found in later volumes of the series.

Volume One contains 622 pages, 32-page color inserts, 40 color plates, and 240 halftones.

The Association of American Publishers’ Best Scholarly Book in the Humanities for 1987

See all awards for other volumes here.

About the Editors
J. B. Harley (1932–1991) was a geographer, cartographer, and map historian at the universities of Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, and Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He co-founded the History of Cartography Project along with David Woodward. Harley’s work has gained broad prominence among geographers and social theorists, and it has contributed greatly to the emerging discipline of critical cartography.

David Woodward (1942–2004) was Arthur H. Robinson Professor of Geography Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he taught for more than twenty years. Along with the late J. B. Harley, he was founding editor of the History of Cartography Project. In 2002, the Royal Geographical Society honored him with the Murchison Award for his lifelong contribution to the study of the history of cartography.

Read more about the founding editors of the Project here.