The Mystery of the Ancient Map of Mars

Alexandria, as the name implies, founded in 332-331 years. BC. Alexander the Great. After it, under the Ptolemaic dynasty, it became the capital of Egypt and the largest port on the Mediterranean. The Alexandria Library was founded in the early 3rd century. BC.

According to various sources, it contained from 100 thousand to one million manuscripts. Despite the fires and barbarity of fanatics, the library lasted more than a thousand years! But in the VII century. AD Here came the Arabs, who completed its destruction. For a long time, historians believed that the priceless treasury of ancient knowledge had irrevocably perished, but gradually historical documents appeared in different countries of Europe and Asia, clearly once belonged to the library.

Her keepers, people at that time very educated, could not help but see the threat to the treasury from religious fanatics and took measures to save manuscripts. Secretly from the rulers of the caste custodians, with the help of numerous copyists, made copies of the most important historical documents, and sent originals in small quantities to other countries. According to some reports, part of the manuscripts settled even in the monastery libraries of Tibet.

One of the centers of ancient manuscripts storage was Echmiadzin – the seat of the head of the Armenian church. Gradually, the center for the storage of ancient scrolls was formed in Armenia – the Matenadaran. December 17, 1920, after the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia, Matenadaran was declared a national treasure. In 1939 the authorities transferred the depository to Yerevan, and in 1960 they placed it in a specially constructed building. In 1939, a young historian from Moscow Viktor Harutyunyan, who in fact was an NKVD employee, was among the persons appointed to carry manuscripts from the Catholicos residence to Yerevan.

Further events are described by Victor’s diary, which he was leading at that time. In particular, it says that when the rolls of one of them were briefly viewed in one of them, Harutyunyan discovered with astonishment the map … of the surface of Mars! Moreover, around Mars was drawn a circle with a circle on it, undoubtedly designated a satellite of the planet! Dumbfounded by the discovery, Victor acted like a boy: carefully pulled out a card and hid it in his bosom, – hoping to show his school teacher, and then return to his place. Unfortunately, the only sheet with the map gave very little information. The text was in Latin and, apparently, was a late translation of the ancient Egyptian text. What was missing was the most important thing: who made the card and when?

And although optical lenses were known even in ancient Egypt, even Galileo could not see the moons of Mars in his telescope. This could not be done in the XIX century. and in the largest in Europe Pulkovo Observatory. It took a new 26-inch telescope of the US Naval Observatory to discover them in 1877. But on the map found by Victor, only one satellite was depicted! Unfortunately, this incredible story has not been continued. Victor sent the card to the Armenian Academy of Sciences, indicating where it was taken. Then the war, he went to the front, where he disappeared without a trace. After the war, no information about the amazing map and the manuscript from which it was taken was not published.

Most likely, it lies in the archive of the Matenadaran. Indirect evidence of the existence of a unique document is the information of the candidate of historical sciences A. Gorbovsky that the Explanatory Dictionary of the famous Georgian scientist and writer Saba Orbeliani (1658-1725) mentions the satellite of Mars and even indicates the radius of its orbit – 24,019 km 25,459 km).

It is possible that Orbeliani visited Etchmiadzin and drew this information from the ancient manuscript that was stored there. In any case, it is worth looking for, although it is quite a difficult task: in the Matenadaran’s funds, by the time of his move to the new building, there were about a thousand ancient manuscripts, 1850 fragments, 2 thousand pages from different books and about 200 thousand documents on the history of the countries of the East. But I think the mystery of the map of Mars is the most painstaking and laborious effort.