The most ancient structures in the world
The map is known and drawings in the slave societies of antiquity the peoples of the Ancient East who lived in the river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, and in Egypt. In these countries was widespread irrigation agriculture, which required the construction of an extensive system of irrigation and drainage facilities: canals, dams, reservoirs, created the density of the population and gave rise to a high value suitable for farming land. In these conditions (in the construction of irrigation facilities, setting boundaries of land plots, calculating land tax) there was a need in the area description. As evidenced by the documents found, such descriptions sometimes took the form of map images. The construction of large cities with fortresses, temples and palaces demanded making their plans. In addition to drawings of small sites we have, some primitive, well-known at the time in the world. Trade links and exchanges with foreign countries and numerous conquests contributed to the expansion of the geographical horizon and encouraged consolidation of acquired knowledge.
Relatively many finds discovered during the excavations in Babylonia and other countries of Mesopotamia, where the material for the letter served as clay tiles , purchased after firing incomparable durability.
The oldest finds, Dating from about 2400-2200 BCE with a schematic view of Mesopotamia shows a river flowing across the plain between the two mountain countries; at the confluence of the sea, the river forms a Delta; the cardinal points are marked with circles.
Among the “engineering” drawings are preserved piece of plate to the town plan of Nippur (Mesopotamia), which shows the walls and gates of the city’s most important buildings, canals, and other objects.
There are also isolated images, reproducing speculative presentation of ancient about the structure and boundaries of the world. Among them, characteristic of Babylon the sign text it depicts the Earth as a flat circle surrounded by ocean, named “Bitter river”. To the North, are mountains, which descend to the river Euphrates. Gulf (Persian) extends deep into the land. In the center of the Earth Babylon is placed. To the North-East of it is named Assyria on the North, contiguous with the country of Urartu. In addition to Babylon also listed several other cities that are marked by ovals. Beyond the ocean are seven Islands, symbolizing the unknown world. This concept of representing the world in the form of a disk surrounded by ocean, with public or religious center of the country, was widespread and found even on maps of the early middle ages.