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The remnant of the 1513 world map of the Ottoman corsair (and later admiral) Muhiddin Piri, a.k.a. Piri Reis, with its focus on the Atlantic and the New World can be ranked as one of the most famous and controversial maps in the annals of the history of cartography. Following its discovery at Topkapi Palace in 1929, this early modern Ottoman map has raised baffling questions regarding its fons et origo. Some scholars posited ancient sea kings or aliens from outer space as the original creators; while the influence of Columbus’ own map and early Renaissance cartographers tantalized others. One question that remains unanswered is how Islamic cartography influenced Piri Reis’ work. This paper presents hitherto unnoticed iconographical connections between the classical Islamic mapping tradition and the Piri Reis map.

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