500 year old map with the word ‘America’ on it discovered in Germany

The discovery of a 500-year-old map in a German university library just a couple of days ago ended up becoming the oldest — and the first — global sketch to mention the name “America.”

Experts assumed that there were only four copies of German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller’s maps, but the discovery of a fifth at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich is a bombshell of sorts. It is believed that Waldseemueller, who died in 1522, produced the map himself.

His global drawings hold key significance. One of the four was sold at an auction for $1 million back in 2005, showcasing just how valuable the maps are in terms of historical value and intrigue. According to the university, the other three are in Minneapolis, Offenburg and in the Bavarian State Library in Munich.

The fifth map was discovered by a bibliographer who was operating on revising the library’s catalogue. It was apparently “nestled amongst two printed works on geometry.


Sources and more information:

• 500-year-old ‘birth certificate of America’ discovered

A version of a 500-year-old world map that was the first to mention the name “America” has been discovered in a German university library. The new find shows the world divided into 12 segments which taper to a point at each end and are printed on a single sheet, which, when folded out, form a small globe Photo: Getty 3:10PM BST 03 Jul 2012 Experts…

• The Oldest Map With The Word ‘America’ On It Was Just Found Between Two Geometry Books

• 500 year old map with the word ‘America’ on it discovered in Germany

Share.