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File:Song Dynasty Map.JPG


The Chinese Yu Ji Tu (Map of the Tracks of Yu the Great), a map carved into stone in the year 1137 during the Song Dynasty, located in the Stele Forest of modern-day Xian, China. Yu the Great refers to the Chinese deity described in the Chinese geographical work of the Yu Gong, a chapter of the Classic of History. Needham and Chavannes assert that the original map must have predated the 12th century.

The graduated scale of this gridded map is at 100 li (Chinese mile) squared for every representative square in the grid. The overall size of the map is 3 ft squared. The coastal outline is relatively firm and the precision of the network of river systems is incredibly accurate. The name of the geographers and cartographers who initially created the map are unknown. In the year 1142 a copy of the map was preserved at Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province by a certain Yu Chi, who was then a Prefectural Director of Studies. There is also mention of an earlier copy of about 1100 AD which itself was based on the Chang'an version. Needham asserts that the map was used primarily to instruct students while referring to sites described in the ancient Yu Gong chapter of the Classic of History.

This image is taken from Joseph Needham's Science and Civilization in China: Volume 3, Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth, on the page PLATE LXXXI, as well as described on pages 547 to 549 (hardback copy). I, PericlesofAthens, took the photo of this public domain image.

Date 3 November 2007
Source My book, the 3rd Volume by Needham
Author PericlesofAthens
Public domain This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

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