Friday, December 28, 2007

Map History 101

We all know the story of the Aztec empire and Hernán Cortés from grade school history class: 19 year old goes exploring in 1519…winds up in Mexico…burns his ships…war with the natives…invades Tenochtitlan.

What you might not know is that a map of Tenochtitlan was created from the eyewitness account of Cortés and it is in the Maps: Finding Our Place in the World exhibit opening at the Walters Art Museum on March 16.

The map depicts the rich and magnificent capital of the Aztec empire –complete with a temple complex surrounded by an intricate network of streets and canals, before it was reduced to ruins by Cortés and his army.

Check out this video by Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz for a complete description of Cortés’ map.

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