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I recall seeing a hand-drawn picture of spec of a ring (maybe of Z?) that had been passed around in the early days of the Zariski topology. Does anyone know where I can find a copy?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think you mean this image by Mumford.

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That's it! Thanks so much. –  Josh Guffin Nov 4 '10 at 0:13
More informative link at the same site: neverendingbooks.org/index.php/mumfords-treasure-map.html . This contains the essay on "Mumford's treasure map" cited in the other answer. –  T.. Nov 4 '10 at 0:33

Be sure not to miss this very interesting paper (in English) on "Mumford's treasure map" and related concepts: Lieven Le Bruyn: Un dessins d'enfants

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You are thinking of the picture of Spec($Z[X]$) in Mumford's Red Book of Varieties and Schemes. A reproduction is downloadable at the link posted in the other answer, and other (less famous) pictures of prime spectra appear in the Eisenbud and Harris introductory book on schemes.

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