I have always been fascinated by maps. There’s something about seeing a representation of the world that’s both artistic and informative. But what about the places that are no longer on the map? The countries that have been lost to time due to geographical or geopolitical changes? What about maps of places that never existed except in a cartographer’s imagination?
Back in the 1960s as a kid living in North Africa, I started collecting postage stamps. (Mainly because there wasn’t much else to keep me entertained. Before emails and texts., we communicated with people via handwritten letters or aerograms with colorful stamps affixed to the envelopes. We similarly received postage stamps from friends and family who lived all over the world when they wrote back. Each stamp in my collection represented a country, its history, significant events, treasures, personalities, or government. A few years ago, I started going through this childhood collection and started to examine some of these stamps more carefully. To my surprise, there are stamps in my collection of countries that no longer exist, and stamps of imaginary places as well.
I’m interested in exploring these lost and imagined places, learning about their history, and sharing what I find with others. In this blog, I’ll share maps and images of postage stamps of lost places, history tidbits, my own thoughts and observations about why these places were lost. Was it due to natural disasters? War? Political upheaval? As I explore the world of lost places., I’d love to have it be a collaborative effort where readers might share their own experiences and suggest other places to examine.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey of discovery. Together, we can learn about the past and appreciate the fragility and possibilities of our world.