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Middle Earth Map with Tolkien's Annotations Uncovered

A map of Middle Earth with annotations from J.R.R. Tolkien has been uncovered, which reveals some of the geographical inspiration for "The Lord of the Rings," along with notes on the world's various flora and fauna.

According to The Guardian, Tolkien's original annotations appear in green ink and pencil, and reveal that Hobbitton is on the same latitude as Oxford, England, along with the implication that the fictional city of Minas Tirith is based on Ravenna, Italy. Additionally, the map hints at some of the other cities that inspired Tolkien's fictional world -- including Belgrade, Cyprus and Jerusalem.

The annotated Middle Earth map was found in a copy of "The Lord of the Rings" owned by Pauline Baynes -- an illustrator who was commissioned to make the map back in 1970 by publisher Allen & Unwin. The original map is being exhibited at Blackwell's in Oxford, where it is currently being sold for £60,000, roughly equivalent to $92,000.

Blackwell's is selling a number of other works by Baynes, who passed away at age 85 in 2005.

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