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Description:

Equestrian Museum, item #28401

Name: Early Preequestrian World Map on Bronze Disk

History: Provenance unknown; found by Prof. Primrose of Queenston Academy in Everfree Castle, 2180; presented to Princess Celestia, 2182; donated by Princess Celestia to Royal Archives, 2238; Royal Archives' nonmagical artifacts given to Equestrian Museum, 2301.

Description: An engraved bronze disk with small inset gemstones; obverse is a map of the world, reverse has no significant marks. The disk is 42 centimeters in diameter and five thick at the center, thinning to about three near the edge. Its surface is lightly textured on the faces and worn smooth on and near the edge.
The engraving is characteristic of fifth century B.E. to third century B.E. Upper Laurentian equines, having a three to four millimeter deep, U-shaped, magically pressed groove describing sinuous straight and crenellated lines, circular decorations, and faceless figures in profile.

The map is unusual, combining the old Laurentian image of the world as a circular landform centered on the Five Seas with accurate knowledge of the coast from Hubson Bay to Gloamingham. Blue Quill 2304 and Blue Quill & Grimoire 2310 discuss possible contact at this time between Upper Laurentians and South Coastal griffins, who may have had such knowledge.

Six figures appear on the map: a unicorn, griffin, dogfolk, human, cattle, and an oval shape. The unicorn, griffin, and dogfolk are accurate, while the human has the usual errors of the time: short torso and legs, narrow shoulders, and a muzzle. The cattle is also inaccurate, combining the hump and low head of a bison and the level back, longer legs, and square rump of an ox. The oval is spotted with gems and is usually considered an egg, typically that of a dragon, given that its company are all sapients.

Small inset gemstones represent eyes of the figures and cities and towns, with the color of a figure's eye matching that of the towns in which its species was the majority. The pony's is a square jet, with another for a town and an empty socket for a third. The griffin's is a pentagonal ruby, with another like it, a third smaller and square-cut, and an empty socket for another small square. The dogfolk's is a lozenge sapphire, with three others like it and two empty lozenge sockets, and one larger hexagonal sapphire and one empty hexagonal socket. The human's is a square, slightly blue diamond. The cattle's is an empty square socket. The egg is spotted with two pentagonal emeralds and an empty pentagonal socket. In total, there are twenty sockets: thirteen filled and seven empty.

The Royal Archive's examination of the disk and gems found no magical response. The Museum has received two reports of response from the griffin's eye indicating a possible past enchantment, from Golden Bough in 2318 and Moonstone in 2380, but examinations by Museum staff in 2318 and 2382 did not detect this.

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