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The Maps of the Zucker Holy Land Travel Manuscript

Out of its approximately 180 illustrations, the Zucker Holy Land Travel Manuscript contains 85 carefully drawn maps: the sheer number, along with their artistry, indicates the author’s particular interest in mapping the Holy Land. The maps are composed—as was common for that time—in no fixed system, but employ a variety of geographic orientations and symbols for cities and sites. Both perspective and plan views are present.   

These highly-skilled map drawings are based on details from more than one source. The most important are the maps in Olfert Dapper’s Asia, oder, Genaue und gründliche Beschreibung des gantzen Syrien und Palestins, oder belobten Landes [...] printed in Amsterdam in 1681. Various views of Jerusalem are quite faithfully copied from parts of Dapper’s maps. Other maps in the manuscript may be based on copper-plate engravings of Palestine by Nicolaes Visscher (1659), Frederic De Wit’s 1670 map, and other sources.

For this website, we have digitally manipulated approximately twenty of the maps—changing scales or orientations of some of them—in order to create a composite digital image, a general map of the Holy Land made up from the smaller ones in the manuscript. In this composite, the shoreline runs from Egypt to Sidon; north is to the right. The land is divided according to the tribes of Israel, with the River Jordan running horizontally through the center.

Layout showing the page numbers and their map fragments. The composite map was built from these fragments.
Map Plan


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