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ZetaTalk: Ancient Maps
Note: written on May 15, 1997.

An unanswered puzzle that cartographers struggle with is the presence of ancient maps that indicate the equator and the poles were not always where they are today. The accuracy of these maps, detailing land masses and their placement as they are essentially known today, cannot be denied. These were not fantasy maps, but were drawn with markings that relate to the placement of stars and compasses, the guides sailors use when far out at sea. There is no ready explanation, as the detail and consistency do not indicate confusion, and a matter as central to map making as the placement of the equator and poles would not likely be confused. The obvious answer is staring these cartographers in the face, but the reason they fail to consider the answer is due to the anxiety it engenders. Pole shifts occur often, have occurred in recent time, and could occur again!

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