There were 26 cities described in the tablets, some of which were over 4, years old. Of these 26 cities, the remains of 15 are known, while 11 remain unknown. By piecing together what they know of the locations of these cities, researchers created methods of determining where the missing 11 cities have the greatest chance of being.
The Chalcolithic (Copper-Stone) Age
The more a city was mentioned in the clay tablets, the closer it likely was to the home base of the trader who was recording information on the tablet. The roads were rough and the journeys were fraught with hazards, so trade would have been conducted with cities closest to the trader. Longer journeys would have been mentioned in the records less often, as they underwent these journeys infrequently. Although it seems tedious to sift through thousands of business letters, shipping documents, accounting records, and contracts, this information can highly benefit the traditional way of locating lost cities that is, through descriptions of landmarks, geographical features, or ancient forms of measuring distances.
After analyzing the data on the clay tablets, the researchers checked their estimates based on data collected by historians. Some confirmed popular ideas on the locations of some of the lost cities, while others supported one location theory over another.
Create your free account
Map of ancient trade routes. Source: Barjamovic et al. They are still working on the accuracy of the algorithm, which seems to work better for cities located at the center of the ancient Assyrian Empire. This approach is certainly a breakthrough in terms of being able to supplement existing qualitative data on the locations of cities in the ancient world. Rather than just relying on geographical descriptions, we can now start to analyze a variety of data to determine what the world used to look like.
Barjamovic, G. Trade, merchants, and the lost cities of the bronze age. The Quarterly Journal of Economics , 3 , Aboriginal songs and art were also maps. A certain song was sung in a certain area on the clans passage through their land, naming the geographic landmarks and the dreaming story as to its creation and pointing to where water was to be found. It was, quite literally, a map which was sung. Same with the art: concentric circles, for example, identified waterholes.
When we go looking for maps we take with us all sorts of biases about what they should look like. For all we know the wild, abstract cave art could be a way they used to navigate the landscape.
I actually took a history of maps course as an elective in college and studied these for a few days, aboriginal maps are amazing. Great post. From a psychological perspective only, there is no reason that ancient people could not have made maps for the same reasons we do and with the same accuracy, vibrancy and variety.
Humans appear to have essentially been modern for , Considering the time period there would be quite a difference. If their evidence includes climatic things like a river that regularly floods it seems that they should have put a bit more in their paper about that than they did. Could just as well been some long-ago human killing a little time by scratching on a rock — prehistoric doodling, if you will. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
25 Best Maps useful for Stone Age to Iron Age topic images in | Maps, Europe, History:__cat__
Humans have been painting caves around the world for tens of thousands of years. But what drove them to make all this cave art in the first place? Ranged weapons seem like a great idea, allowing you to hunt far from danger. But it took them 30, years to spread to Arabia.
The rock itself. Related posts.
Categories: Ancient technology. Humans appear to have essentially been modern for , Reply. Leave your filthy monkey comments here.