Chinese Silk Map of the World c. 1389
[China in the Centre, Africa on the far left]


china world map


The Da Ming Hun Yi Tu, or Amalgamated Map of the Great Ming Empire, is a unique snapshot of history created in China in 1389. Covering more than 17 square metres, it was produced in silk. It is thought to be a copy of a map sculpted into rock 20 or 30 years earlier. It clearly shows the shape of Africa, more than 100 years before Western explorers and map-makers reached the continent .