Friday, December 21, 2007

Medieval Mappa honoured by Unesco

A famous medieval map of the world has been included in a list of the world's most important historical documents.

The Mappa Mundi, kept at Hereford Cathedral, has been added to the Unesco Memory of the World International Register, the Diocese of Hereford said. The Mappa Mundi was made in the 13th Century

Unesco said the 13th Century map was "pivotal" in understanding the medieval view of the world. It shows Jerusalem at the centre and includes Biblical and historical events as well as geographical locations.

Unesco said: "The map is pivotal in our understanding of medieval cartography and sense of place and still has relevance to all peoples in helping them to understand their sense of humanity and self."

The map measures 64in x 52in (1.62m x 1.32m) and was drawn on a single piece of vellum.

It bears the name of its author Richard of Haldingham or Lafford, which historians have identified as modern Holdingham and Sleaford in Lincolnshire.

The diocese hit the headlines in 1988 when it decided to sell the map in order to solve a financial crisis, but the plans were later dropped after the government and benefactors offered funding.

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