Slide #214

TITLE: World Map of al-Kashghari
DATE: 1076 A.D.
AUTHOR: al-Kashghari

This world map, oriented with East at the top, is from a unique manuscript of al-Kashghari's Diwan lughat al-Turk. Al-Kashghari was a Turkish grammarian of the 11th century A.D. whose world map appears as an illustration to his Turkish grammar. This itself is unusual, and the map is certainly unlike any other map in Islamic literature. The individual elements of the map, symbols, and so forth, are all very much the same as those that appear on any other Islamic map, but its concept is most unusual. Although it is a map of the world, it is centered on the Turkish-speaking areas of Central Asia, with other countries receding from them toward the circumference of the world circle. In addition the scale seems to be reduced as one gets nearer the edge of the map, so that one has the impression of a fish-eye representation of the globe with Turkestan magnified in the center. The colors are described in the original as gray for rivers, green for seas, yellow for deserts, and red for mountains.

LOCATION: The Millet Genel Kütüphansesi, Ali Emiri 4189, Istanbul.


*Bagrow, L., History of Cartography, Plate XXVIII.
*Harley, J.B., The History of Cartography, Volume Two, p. 153, Figure 6.17.
*Imago Mundi, Volume I, p.23


Index of Early Medieval Maps