Tupaia’s map unlocked
Old paper with hand drawn names, locations and shapes of a large number of Pacific islands

Tupaia’s map was drawn up between 1769-1770.
British Library, Reference: ADD MS 21593c

Stuff, article by Anan Zaki, 10 April 2018

After six years of research, two German professors believe Tahitian navigator Tupaia’s map of the Pacific, once thought to be “unreadable,” was “fully understandable”.

And in another “breakthrough”, the Potsdam University researchers, Lars Eckstein​ and Anja Schwarz,​ believe the map, co-produced by Captain James Cook, was completed when Cook’s ship the Endeavour was anchored at Queen Charlotte Sound.

Schwarz said she “firmly believed” their views about the 248-year-old map, and they had evidence to back up their theories.

Tupaia took part in Cook’s first voyage as a navigator and translator, and was “highly regarded” by the Endeavour captain, and drew the map between 1769 and 1770, she said.


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