Geographical exploration

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**1. Historical Periods of Human Exploration:**

– Phoenician exploration:
– Traded throughout the Mediterranean Sea and Asia Minor.
– Possible travels to Britain.
– Queen Dido founded Carthage in North Africa.

– Roman exploration:
– Organized expeditions across the Sahara for gold.
– Extended exploration to Northern Europe and China.

Chinese exploration:
– Han dynasty exploration of the Eastern Northern Hemisphere.
– Zhang Qian’s travels to unknown countries in Central Asia.

– Viking Age exploration:
Exploration of Iceland and Western Northern Hemisphere.
– Settlement in Greenland and reaching Newfoundland.

– Polynesian exploration:
– Populated and explored the central and south Pacific.
– Discovery of New Zealand around 1280.

**2. Exploration by Major Explorers:**

Chinese Exploration of the Indian Ocean:
– Wang Dayuan’s trips to Southeast Asia, India, and Australia.
– Zheng He’s voyages to Arabia, East Africa, and Indonesia.

– European Age of Discovery:
– Spanning from the 15th to the 17th century.
– Notable explorers from Portugal, Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands.

– Discovery of America:
– Christopher Columbus’s initial discovery.
– Mapping by various explorers like Juan Ponce de León and Vasco Núñez de Balboa.

– Further Explorations:
– Ferdinand Magellan’s global circumnavigation.
– Discoveries in Australia by explorers like Willem Janszoon and Abel Tasman.

– Late Modern Period Exploration:
– Russian exploration of the Siberian Pacific coast.
– James Cook’s exploration of Australia and Antarctica.

**3. Space Exploration:**

Space exploration in the 20th century:
Travel to the Moon and robotic exploration of other planets.
– Voyager probes leaving the Solar System.

– Benefits of space exploration:
– Study and understanding of celestial bodies.
– Expansion of knowledge beyond our solar system.

**4. Underwater Exploration:**

– Objectives of underwater exploration:
– Studying marine life and Earth’s underwater features.
– Effective management and conservation of underwater resources.

– Challenges in underwater exploration:
– Ocean covering 70% of Earth’s surface.
– Limited mapping of the deep ocean bed.

**5. Resources and Further Reading:**

– References on exploration:
– Historical and contemporary information from various sources.
– Insights from the Royal Geographical Society and academic publications.

– Further reading materials:
– Books like ‘The Times Atlas of World Exploration’.
– ‘The Oxford Companion to World Exploration’ for a comprehensive overview.

Geographical exploration, sometimes considered the default meaning for the more general term exploration, refers to the practice of discovering remote lands and regions of the planet Earth. It is studied by geographers and historians.[citation needed]

Abraham Ortelius's 1570 world map, the world's first modern atlas.

Two major eras of exploration occurred in human history: one of convergence, and one of divergence.[clarification needed] The first, covering most of Homo sapiens history, saw humans moving out of Africa, settling in new lands, and developing distinct cultures in relative isolation. Early explorers settled in Europe and Asia; 14,000 years ago, some crossed the Ice Age land bridge from Siberia to Alaska, and moved southbound to settle in the Americas. For the most part, these cultures were ignorant of each other's existence. The second period of exploration, occurring over the last 10,000 years, saw increased cross-cultural exchange through trade and exploration, and marked a new era of cultural intermingling, and more recently, convergence.

Early writings about exploration date back to the 4th millennium B.C. in ancient Egypt. One of the earliest and most impactful thinkers of exploration was Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD.[clarification needed] Between the 5th century and 15th century AD, most exploration was done by Chinese and Arab explorers. This was followed by the Age of Discovery after European scholars rediscovered the works of early Latin and Greek geographers. While the Age of Discovery was partly driven by European land routes becoming unsafe, and a desire for conquest, the 17th century saw exploration driven by nobler motives, including scientific discovery and the expansion of knowledge about the world. This broader knowledge of the world's geography meant that people were able to make world maps, depicting all land known. The first modern atlas was the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published by Abraham Ortelius, which included a world map that depicted all of Earth's continents.

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