Diversity Maximized World Map | Atlas Altera

  • Hi all,

    I've been lurking around in this forum for years but I never felt like I fit in. Though I'm quite interested in history, my other interests are a little different. Over the years, I've been quietly working away at my own alternate history project, which I call Atlas Altera. Now that I'm putting my hobby out into the open, I thought I might see if there are people here who would appreciate what I've been doing.
    *Balkanization Trigger Warning*


    As you would call it on this forum, my world is full of ASBs. In my project, I have tried to respect the general historical trends and the logic in the motions of history, and I do stop to ponder butterflies, but all of those considerations are of less importance to me when using alternate history as a creative device to maximize linguistic and cultural diversity represented through political territories. What I'm after is overlaying the diversity of OTL nations, languages, and peoples that have survived to the present day with the status quo of privileging the nation-state in international relations beginning in the early modern period. The point is to see in every major turning point in history, if there was a way to minimize the ramifications and to make the losers lose less so that more make into onto the world map...

    In a way, this is a different kind of story. The project has been a way for me to chart my own journey in learning about the world. It's my take on that cliche push pin world map. My method is not meant to be methodically pure, and the way I see it, the main point of alternate history is to create and inspire. I'm not interested in empire building or satisfying any one group's irredentist fantasy.


    I have amassed a huge manuscript (330 pages, which I first started to keep track of my decisions and historical deviations), and multiple excel files for tracking languages, cultural inputs, religion, food staples, and some stats, and I also have printed out my own wall-mountable world map, as well as made a series of other map graphics. My thinking is that I should now produce all of this stuff for people to look through, which is why I started the website. There, I'll be posting map plates (blog posts) every month, I'm also working on discussion videos to accompany each map plate one. If there's enough interest here, I'll also continue posting in the forum as well.

    I'm starting out small. I've got a patreon set up, and I'm working on YouTube. You can view high resolution images on https://telamontabulicus.imgbb.com/albums. I've left plenty of Easter eggs and references, some to things I've come across on this forum.

    If you have any ideas for helping me bring this project to its true potential, let's talk.
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    Further explanation
  • To further explain, I basically made it my goal to represent at least one language from every language family currently in existence, or which is being revitalized.

    So on Papua, you'll notice, there's a ton of stuff. It's dense in there, but that's because there are like 800 languages from around 60 or so language families. In contrast, all of Eurasia has probably a score, and adding Africa to that, you'll probably only match that amount on Papua.

    The other point was to try to balance out religious, world-view, and cultural spheres so that there would be a more culturally multipolar world. Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism, for example, find their way as majority religions in many of the cultures of these states (many of which are also secular), but so does Zarathustrianism (OTL Parsis) and indigenous religions.

    Over the years (some ten years I think), this exercise has had a profound impact on me. It's really helped me with understanding what decolonization really means and to discover where my biases lie and how to let them go. It was also heartbreaking to watch, as my project progressed, languages go extinct (i.e. western America, South America, and southern Australia). It also, however, exciting to watch for new knowledges being produced by linguists and anthropologists, with cutting edge papers linking certain languages with others across the globe, as well as re-evaluating established family groupings, or to see new content on Wikipedia or stub articles to be expanded (presumably by academics making available their own work and studies...)
    Atlasia | Map Plate no. 4
  • I thought I should just post my latest content in this thread:


    Rising from azure coasts to the sheltering plateaus and ridges of the Atlas Mountains, the lands of Atlasia have long been seen as the counterpoints to European countries across the Mediterranean Sea. Atlasia is located right at the edge of the African continent, on the precipice of the great waste of the Sahara. Even native Atlasians regarded their lands as the frontier until the use of camels, introduced from the east, became regular. And yet, ever since the time of Hannibal, Atlasia has also been a cultural core in its own right, forming the main settled areas of the region of Libya. Though distinct in culture and, for the majority of history, religion, the nations that formed here were locked in a waxing and waning cycle linked directly to their counterparts in Europea up until the modern period. In times of great power imbalance, ambitious rulers on either side set their eyes upon the other and launched earthshaking conquests. In other periods of history, when peace could find its way to settle in this part of the world and maritime trade pursued, the constant harrying of sea traffic and the pillaging of coastal villages was still an everyday reality. In the rare instances that this cycle was interrupted, the great forces of lasting change came not from the north, but instead, came far from the east—Asea.


    For the full content: https://www.atlasaltera.com/post/atlasia
    Regional Map of Europea
  • Here's another graphic I did, this time a regional map. The full size can be viewed here.


    Jutting out as a peninsula in the northwest portion of the continent of Borealea, Europea itself consists of a series of minor and major peninsulas, the abundance of coastline allowing for much of the region to be tempered by maritime winds and currents. Europea is a region of historically warring states, shifting borders, and innovative systems of governance. In ancient history, the region's cultural landscape was constantly reshaped by great migrations of peoples, sometimes resulting in abrupt demographic changes, though more often than not resulting in the emergence of new cultures through cultural assimilation.

    In search of better access to eastern spices, kingdoms in Europea launched the world into the Age of Exploration when the Iberian monarchs embraced the technology of oceangoing vessels from Libya and set sail for the far side of the world. Their unexpected discoveries led to the conquering, colonizing, and settling of distant lands, ultimately reshaping the world in drastic ways.

    Read about the other regions on the website www.atlasaltera.com.
    Mazicia | Map Plate no. 5
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    Gomeria, Esmiria, Senegalia, Taregia, and Getulia.

    Spanning beyond the Atlas Mountains into the great waste of the Sahara, the lands of Mazicia have long been regarded as the limits of the known earth. Contrary to popular belief, it is the Sahara, and not the continent-dividing Mediterranean Sea, that formed in antiquity the greatest barrier between peoples in this part of the world. Like black holes are for astronomers today, few from the outside knew how far its towering dunes extended, what lurked beneath the sands, and what lay in waiting on the other side. And yet, the peoples of Mazicia are widely documented in history. The great renaissance man of Punice, Ibn Khaldun, wrote of them extensively, as did the Romans and Carthaginians, but almost all accounts were written from hearsay—travelers' tales, merchants' bluffs, soldiers' accounts, stories given by expedition survivors. One thing, however, is for certain: like the remote atolls and islands of Polynesea, every oasis in the Sahara has been found to have been continuously inhabited or frequented as a watering station since time immemorial, making this part of the world one of the first places to see permanent human settlement at a dense scale. With the introduction of the camel from Arabia via Atlasia, the dunes and plains of the Sahara became just another sea for merchants to regularly ply, and contact with Nigeria, on the other side, became regularized, so much so that the mystical and exotic geographies of Timbuktu and the Niger River—once regarded by Europeans in the same way as Marco Polo's Xanadu and the Ho River—seemed as familiar as the sun-drenched lands of Aramia and the Holy Land.

    Read the full map plate on the website www.atlasaltera.com.
    And I'm on YouTube now, with audio/podcast versions on Spotify and Anchor, for all those who want more background explanations. Give it a go and subscribe, please!
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    Sinosphere Map
  • Here's a spinoff theme for the project!
    Click on the image or here the higher quality version on Deviantart. You can also view the original Reddit post here.

    From the Centre to the Margins - The Extents of the Sinosphere:
    Mammoth-riding Yukaghirs, Hmongic nations, Langfang and other konsi republics in Nusantara, transoceanic contact by the Ainu in their itaomachips, Nisean horses preserved and traded in the Tea Horse Road, Phags-pa-writing and katana-carrying PNW Indigenous nations, Japonic-Austronesic cultural infusion in Okinawa, Ming Restoration, Rangaku policies and more organic modernization in the Far East...

    Support this kind of content:
    To access in-depth lore and footnotes (explanatory etymologies for the Sinic meanings for each country and its nation-signifier), or to download a high resolution print-quality version join the Patreon! Your funds will go to supporting me as well as other collaborators of the project. It took many long nights to produce something this in-depth and thought out, so really do consider showing us your support if you can.

    More content:
    I'm doing backstage-style discussions for this project with my friend, which you can watch on YouTube and or listen on Anchor/Spotify. Also, check out my YouTube for more backroom explanations and in-depth discussions
    Sicatia | Map Plate no. 6
  • 006_Sicatia_Framed_ah.jpg

    Treblesia, Saconia, Phasania, and Marmoria.

    Here's a cute little excerpt:
    Much of early economic activity on the peninsula instead centred around the gathering the seeds and stalks of an endemic Ferula plant, Sicatian silfer, known as silphium in antiquity, and a close relative to the more pungent Chorsanian silfer, Ferula foetida, known in Asea as asa chitt by Jews or anqowzeh by Zarathustrans and in Indea as hing. Such was the reliance upon this cash crop that it is believed to be at the centre of one of the first recorded incidents of Flemish Disease, as exports of Sicatian silfer suddenly plummeted, coinciding with a sharp decline in the local economy and population of the Pentapoli Coast.

    Read the full map plate on the website www.atlasaltera.com.
    And I'm on YouTube now, with audio/podcast versions on Spotify and Anchor, for all those who want more background explanations. Give it a go and subscribe, please!

    P.S. yes, I know, Syrtis Major has moved west...