Ancient civilizations, such as those in Egypt and Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), believed that the earth was a flat disk surrounded by ocean and covered by the dome of the sky.
In the sixth century B.C., the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras suggested that the earth was in fact a sphere, a theory accepted by the famous philosopher Aristotle.
In the second century A.D., Ptolemy in Alexandria made a map of the world. He included Europe, the Middle East, and the coast of India, but vastly underestimated the size of the world’s oceans. His view of the world would dominate western science for another 1,500 years.