Maps may seem obsolete in today’s world with smartphones and GPS devices, but centuries ago, they were the only tool travelers had to navigate the world.

A man in Aberdeen, Scotland, was working on some home renovations when he discovered something unusual stuffed in the chimney. At first glance, the mysterious bundle appeared to be a series of rags used to stop draughts, but upon further examination, the man discovered it was something much more valuable. These “rags” were actually a map dating back to the 17th century. Realizing he had something significant on his hands, he set out to gift the tattered remains to the National Library.

Curators at the National Library had never seen something in such a sad condition, but that didn’t stop them from trying to restore it.

Along the way, they discovered that the map was created by renowned engraver Gerard Valck.

There are only two known copies of this map in existence, making this discovery even more exciting.


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