Today is the 5th anniversary of the start of my late Bronze Age map project. In November 2015 I finished the initial version of the Dawn of the Classical Word/Persian Empire map for Sardis Verlag and thereafter laid down the foundations for new projects. Back than I had planned two new maps: The Parthian Empire and the World of the Bronze Age. The former was released by Sardis Verlag in spring 2016, the latter so far only as its offspring New Kingdom Egypt, in fall 2016.
My original, optimistic, plan was to finish both maps within one year, but especially the Bronze Age map proved to be a very protracted project, fouling my estimates again and again. Of course I did not work in this map continuously since 2015 and in the coming years a multitude of other projects got a higher priority on my list. Among them the second edition of my Imperium Romanum 211 AD and the DIN A1 The World of Ancient Rome maps in 2017, my map of Classical Greece, the research for the Roman Era Hesse map and most importantly I finished my PhD. Other hurdles preventing a faster progress were more technical in nature, at one point the project files became incompatible and crashed with the recent version of QGIS I used back then, or currently the limited library access due to the pandemic.
The oldest surviving export of the late Bronze Age map is dated 26.11.2015. Below it is shown right next to the current iteration of the map. Even the 2015 version has no completely empty canvas, since a number of features had been mapped before, thus various settlements and sea routes are already included.
November 2015: The oldest surviving export of the late Bronze Age map. A number of features mapped before, such as various settlements and sea routes, are already included.
November 2020: The current state of the map. So far over 900 labels are already in place.
These two images showing an almost identical area don’t tell that in 2016 and 2017 the scale and scope of the project had changed several times and for a longer period I had planned to release a smaller B1 sized version first, depicting just the major cultures; New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittite Empire, the middle Assyrian Empire, Mycenaean Greece and the northern parts of Babylonia.
Later it was decided to begin the new series of Bronze Age maps with a highly detailed map of Ancient Egypt, in DIN B1 too, but larger with a larger scale of 1:2.5 Million. In a second step this map should be expanded to B0 (144 x 100 cm) to include Egypt's neighbors to the north. This would have been my largest map by far, but still only covering roughly the same territories as the proposed B1 map in 1:3.3 Million, thus less the current map in development. However by summer 2017 I had finally decided to return to the original idea, an A0 map.
Currently the map has over 900 labels already in place and although the Hittite Empire will see another revision before release, I am quite happy with the coverage of the major cultures. However, the map still lacks a lot of detail to be filled out in surrounding areas like the Caucasus region. I intend to focus on Arabia next and hopefully can show the next preview before the end of the year.
Textile print of my map of Ancient Egypt. For some time in 2016 the full late Bronze Age map was intended to be an direct expansion of this map in the same scale (1:2.5 Million) and with the enormous size DIN B0 (144 x 100 cm), but still covering less countries than the current DIN A0 (118,9 x 84,1 cm), 1:3.3 Million map.
Expansion of the Parthian Empire Map
Another ongoing mapping project is the expansion of my Parthian Empire map, that other project officially begun five years ago. The next edition will be enlarged from current size DIN A1 (84,1 x 59,4 cm) to B1 (100 x 70 cm) and will cover additional territories to the east: The entire Kushan Empire and the ancient Silk Road to Chang’an, capital of the Han dynasty, ruling in China concurrently to the peak of the Roman Empire.
The planned next iteration of my Parthian Empire map will cover the entire Middle East during the height of the Roman Empire, from the eastern Roman provinces up to the western tip of the Han dynasty's Chinese empire.