Enigmatic Indian Ocean Coastlines on Early Maps and Charts
Richardson, W A R
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Maps by early non-Iberian cartographers tended to rely heavily on Ptolemy's hopelessly inaccurate maps, and on a literal acceptance of Marco Polo's unreliable, second-hand writings. The identification of dubious, frequently imaginary coastlines on such maps is thus usually based on guesswork, or wishful thinking. Only critical examination of the inscriptions can provide reliable identifications. Maps of the Indian Ocean improved as Portuguese charts slowly supplanted Ptolemaic and Poloesque information.