Pacific Ocean

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Place Names


Indonesia - Moluccas

The Moluccas were the original "Spice Islands", but in reality are but a small chain of islands in the north central part of Indonesia.

Thevet, 1575

This is a map entitled "Isle des Femmes", and is supposedly located close to the Moluccas. More probably, this represents a mythological island inhabited exclusively by women. Rumors and stories of such an island were common among sailors for several hundred years, with the island's location moving to a point outside the then-explored world.

Langenes, 1598

An early map of the Moluccas, as well as the islands of Borneo (far left), Celebes (left center), and Gilolo (center right).

Dudley, 1646

Sea chart of the Moluccas.

Jansson, 1647

A very decorative map of the Moluccas, with the top of the map oriented to the west. The large island along the bottom (east) of the map (labeled Gilolo) is the main Moluccan island of Halmahera.

Valentyn, 1724

Map of Moluccas and various other islands.

Moll, 1739

A more recent map of the southern part of the Moluccas, with island of Ambon is the odd-shaped island in the center left..

Bellin, 1754

Map of the island of Ambon, in the southern part of the Moluccas. (In the Langenes map at the top, Ambon is the very small yellow triangular island just right of center at the bottom of the map. The orientation of this map has been adjusted to allow the island to fit horizontally (north is in the upper right hand corner of the map).