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Thread: Ancient Arabia

  1. #1
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Sapiento's Avatar
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    Map Ancient Arabia

    A commissioned map (this request thread), it will be used for an intro of a Middle east historical TV series airing in August.
    It represents a map envisioned by an Arab cartographer in the 7th century who had to guess what may lay beyond the lands he knew. Like 'there will be dragons'. Therefore the unrealistic geography beyond a certain line.

    This is a 25% version, the original is 8400 x 6000 pixels.
    I started the map on Sunday morning and completed it yesterday evening. Even for me that's a new speed record.

    Done in PS.

    UPDATE: Here is the TV-Series, the map (edited by the digital effects artist) is in the intro: http://shahid.mbc.net/media/video/29941/عمر_الحلقة_14

    And a picture from the credits (I don't have a clue, what the topic of the series is, but this is too damned cool).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Sapiento; 08-05-2012 at 01:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    Pretty damn good looking and LOVELY colors!

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    Love it. What's the title of the TV show? Would be awesome to check it out just for seeing the map in it.

  4. #4
    Professional Artist Gracious Donor Sapiento's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukc View Post
    Pretty damn good looking and LOVELY colors!
    Quote Originally Posted by bartmoss View Post
    Love it. What's the title of the TV show? Would be awesome to check it out just for seeing the map in it.
    Thank you!
    I'm not sure if I can give away the title. But once I have the video of the intro I will post it or a link.

  5. #5
    Guild Apprentice Facebook Connected razcor's Avatar
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    Gorgeous! I like the way you have taken the point of view of the cartographer...

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    Guild Expert Ramah's Avatar
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    I really like the palette but as a whole it just doesn't seem to gel together like your maps usually do. I think the main reason is the way your elements don't feel part of the map but just placed on. For instance, your mountains show the colours coming through, which is ok, but when they go across several colours they betray their PS brush origins. One of the mountain peaks goes over a lake and the blue shows through the same as the white does elsewhere. Also, your TreeThing forests seem to lack any jittering so the trees are placed in digital lines that really stick out.

    Sorry to be the dissenting voice here, I wasn't sure whether to post or not but then I asked myself, would I sooner someone posted an honest opinion on a map of mine or just keep quiet so as not to hurt my feelings and let me go on believing it was loved by all?
    Royal: I'm very sorry for your loss, your mother was a terribly attractive woman.


    My Cartographer's Guild maps: Finished Maps


    More maps viewable at my DeviantArt page: Ramah-Palmer DeviantArt

  7. #7
    Guild Member Robulous's Avatar
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    Pretty, though it's nothing like a 7th century Arabic map

    Your cartographer was also pretty ill-informed for the 7th century - Arabs were aware of the Iberian Peninsula and the Pillars of Hercules dividing Africa from Europe - not only did they have this knowledge from Greek and Roman writer and cartographers, and from Levantine traders, but the Caliphate had physically conquered all of North Africa and most of Spain by the late 7th century, so their geographic knowledge of this region would have been fairly good.

  8. #8
    Guild Apprentice Facebook Connected razcor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robulous View Post
    Pretty, though it's nothing like a 7th century Arabic map

    Your cartographer was also pretty ill-informed for the 7th century - Arabs were aware of the Iberian Peninsula and the Pillars of Hercules dividing Africa from Europe
    Assuming this is a work of fiction, more creative than historically / geographically accurate, we need to understand what kind of cartographer we are talking about. Two hypotheses:

    - an "amateur" cartographer, not a real scholar, (and not in contact with a network of scholars), with little travel experience but a certain degree of knowledge of geography (but not so deep), that maybe had misunderstood maps of that time, in which the strait of gibraltar is a very "thin" sea strip (example);

    - a cartographer that wanted to represent conceptually the unity of the Western Muslim lands after their conquest.


    Otherwise the map is not very accurate, since we have many examples of our ancestors' knowledge of the geography of the Strait of Gibraltar: for example, the Umayyad conquered much of the Iberian peninsula as early as 711 AC , not to mention, long before, the Carthaginian attempt to conquer Rome passing through the territories of Hispania and Gallia (second punic war, 218-202 BC).

    In any case, as I said, I really like this map.
    Last edited by razcor; 02-17-2012 at 11:06 AM. Reason: misspelling

  9. #9
    Guild Member Robulous's Avatar
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    Even that map you mention has the strait of Gibraltar, it's just very narrow. The Tabula Rogeriana is a lovely map, I've snagged a copy for my "map ideas" folder!

    The Tabula is generally shown upside down. It's interesting that Arabic cartographers of the period put north at the bottom of their maps. I guess it's human nature to put what's familiar to you at the top and what's unfamiliar below - just like European map-makers put Europe at the top of maps, and Africa below.

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    Tabula Rogeriana was made in 1154, and hence is a bad example for criticizing a 7th century map.

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