Marble Maps

One hudred and thirty four years before Captain Cook landed on the south side of Botany Bay, the Dutch Captain Tasman plotted a good portion of the coast of Australia. He did, however, not show Tasmania (which he named Van Diemen’s Land) as an island, he joined the north coast of Australia with Papua New Guinea and sketched in the unknown east coast. The header image of this blog is part of a photograph of a 4 x 5.5 m marble reproduction of the map, located in the Mitchell vestibule of The State Library New South Wales. This is an impressive physical representation of a key cartographic tool which assisted the explorers that followed Tasman’s pioneering voyage.