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Map of Middle Earth

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#1
Nick Springer

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Peter Bird, a professor of Geophysics and Geology at UCLA created a map of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth showing how it coul dalign with Europe. Here was his description of it when I asked him about it in email:

The map of Middle Earth was inspired by some heavy hints that Tolkein left:
-constellation Orion is seen from Middle Earth [in LOTR];
-Middle Earth has a moon [in LOTR].
-Mordor represents someplace in the Balkan region [reported comment, 3rd-hand].
-Shire is in England, possibly Oxfordshire [reported comment, 3rd-hand].
It all fits fairly well if we lower sea level (which actually occurred during ice ages), and
extend the Scandanavian mountain range across the German Plain (which is pure fantasy).
I think Tolkein's historic model was a mixture of Vienna defending against the Turks,
plus earlier Europeans defending against the Magyars ~900 AD.


You can find out more about Peter Bird at http://element.ess.ucla.edu/

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Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Interesting comparison, but there is one other bit of geologic fantasy. The great river (forgot the name and my copy of LOTR is buried in a box somewhere) that runs North-South has to smash through the Alps at Minas Morgul. There's no connection to the real world there.

Normally that would drain towards the Atlantic as well, but since the Scandinavian mountains extend south, they cut that off.

Then again, there probabely wouldn't even *be* a great river, because it's in the rain shadow of those Scandinavian mountains :rolleyes:

Having said all of that, I must add that I think the original map of Middle Earth is a very nice bit of mapmaking.
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#3
Nick Springer

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I think the point was that for the most part it could be Europe but certainly some creative license was taken in the story.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC





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