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Renovators Found This Stuffed Inside His Chimney, And It Turned Out To Be A 17th-Century Relic

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Renovating an older home isn’t only a big job for construction reasons. Often, objects hidden in the walls hold secrets from when the house was originally built. There could be old coins, postcards, or letters; and sometimes, artifacts are much more valuable than they seem.

That was the case for one renovation worker who came across what appeared to be an ordinary crumpled up piece of paper in the chimney. The man thought it might be trash, but upon closer inspection, he decided to hand it over to a local museum.

What the museum discovered, however, were beyond anything he could have imagined…

While renovating an older home in Aberdeen, Scotland, a construction worker found what he thought to be a ball of old rags. He had a strange suspicion that it could be something more, so instead of throwing it out, he handed it over to the National Library of Scotland.

chimney1Trina McKendrick / YouTube

When the object arrived at the library, it didn’t seem like anything special. However, upon further inspection, conservationists realized what it really was…

CHIMNEY2Trina McKendrick / YouTube


As it turned out, this artifact was a map dating all the way back to the 17th century!

chimney3Trina McKendrick / YouTube

Back then, this map was a status symbol for its owner. Only wealthy people could afford a map, especially one as special as this.

chimney4Trina McKendrick / YouTube


It was huge, measuring seven feet long and five feet wide. In its time, the “Chimney Map,” as the library called it, would have been hung on a wall with great care.

chimney5Trina McKendrick

At first, the map, created by mapmaker George Wildey, was thought to originate in London.

chimney6Trina McKendrick / YouTube

But upon further inspection, it was discovered that Wildey copied the chimney map off of one from Amsterdam.

chimney7Trina McKendrick / YouTube


Experts said it was based on a map created by Schenk and Valk, who were popular mapmakers in the 17th century.

chimney8Trina McKendrick / YouTube

The map from which this one was created required eight sheets of paper and would have needed a substantial amount of space to display it.

chimney9Trina McKendrick / YouTube

Conservationists feared it’d be impossible to restore the chimney map because it was so badly deteriorated.

chimney10Trina McKendrick / YouTube

The faces of King William III of England and his wife, Queen Mary, were drawn prominently on the chimney map, which helped conservationists date it at around 1690.

chimney11Trina McKendrick / YouTube

At that time, William III ruled over Ireland and Scotland, in addition to England.

chimney12Trina McKendrick / YouTube


Numerous sea battles were also drawn on the chimney map, indicating the Dutch colonization of places like Portugal and China—prominent events of the map’s time.

Chimney13Trina McKendrick / YouTube

Also indicated by drawings on the map is what’s called the Black Legend, or the suffering brought upon indigenous peoples in Latin America by Spanish invaders.

chimney14Trina McKendrick / YouTube

The map was said to resemble confetti when conservationists first undertook the job of restoring it, and they wondered if they could handle it at all.

chimney15Trina McKendrick / YouTube

In the 17th century, many Scots fled to the Netherlands—to Amsterdam in particular—seeking religious freedom under King James VII.

chimney16Trina McKendrick / YouTube

But when William III, ruler of the Dutch Republic, gained the British throne, many Scots put all their faith in him. Later, King William III disappointed the Scots, but on the chimney map, he was reflected as a great hope.

Chimney17Trina McKendrick / YouTube

 


After a careful and slow restoration process, the library hoped the map would be in great condition for years to come.

chimney18Trina McKendrick / YouTube

In the future, experts claim we may have a completely different understanding of 17th century Holland…

Chimney19Trina McKendrick / YouTube

 


The map is worth saving, not only for researchers of today, but those of tomorrow as well.

chimney20Trina McKendrick / YouTube

This map is proof that what may look like trash at first can actually be a historic artifact in disguise. One never knows what can turn up in the walls of an old house!

Share this chimney map’s incredible history with your friends below!

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