First International Workshop On the Origin and Evolution of Portolan Charts

Ivo Louro's picture

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June 6, 2016 to June 7, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, European History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Maritime History / Studies


The Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT - University of Lisbon) and the Navy Museum have the pleasure to announce the


First International Workshop

On the Origin and Evolution of Portolan Charts

Navy Museum (Museu de Marinha), Lisboa - Portugal

6-7 June 2016

Free admission

Registration required:


The origin of the nautical chart is among the most challenging unresolved subjects within the History of Cartography. Emerging almost fully-formed in the thirteen century and exhibiting an unprecedented accuracy, when compared with the contemporary cartography, the portolan chart of the Mediterranean is an intriguing medieval artefact. The purpose of this workshop, the first to gather most of the internationally recognized specialists on the subject, is to assess the current state of knowledge and the range of opinion about the birth and evolution of portolan charts. New and promising developments have occurred in recent years which may help to solve some of the most critical questions about the when, where and why the earliest charts were created, how they were constructed, how they evolved over time and how they were used. These matters will be the focus of the more than twenty papers ―and one round-table discussion―that will be presented in the workshop. Reflecting the fact that the researchers currently working on these issues come from the both sciences and the humanities fields, the papers will deal equally with technical and historical viewpoints.

The meeting will be held in the Navy Museum of Lisbon (Museu de Marinha) situated in the western wing of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Belém. The admission is free but registration is required: Detailed information is in the workshop webpage:

The workshop will follow the Third ISHMap Symposium “Encounters and Translations: Mapping and Writing the Waters of the World”, to be held in the National Library of Portugal on 3-4 June 2016:

Get our event brochure here


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