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Justus Perthes: Skizze einer Karte eines Theils von Ost u Central Afrika

Map: AFR5573
Cartographer: Justus Perthes
Title: Skizze einer Karte eines Theils von Ost u Central Afrika
Date: 1856
Published: Gotha
Width: 17 inches / 44 cm
Height: 14 inches / 36 cm
Map ref: AFR5573
Curious map of modern Kenya and Tanzania detailing the caravan routes into the interior and depicting the enormous 'Sea of Uniamesi', an entirely hypothetical and short-lived amalgamation of the African Great Lakes proposed by German missionaries in the 1840s and 1850s.

The Geographische Mitteilungen, in which this map was originally published, is the oldest German language geographical journal - its first issue was in 1855 and it finally closed its doors in 2004. The magazine was conceived and edited by August Heinrich Petermann and published by the venerable firm of Justus Perthes in Gotha, Germany.

Its first article reported on an expedition into North Africa and the Sahara by Heinrich Barth and Adolf Overweg. This report was enough to secure a circulation of 4000 for the fledgling magazine and, more importantly, encouraged other important scientist-explorers of the day who were attracted by the magazine’s heavy scientific emphasis to send in their own reports. These included Hans Meyer, the first man to ascend the Kibo crater on Mount Kilimanjaro, Sven Hedin, the Swedish explorer of Central Asia and the Himalayas, and Alfred Wegener, the geoscientist who pioneered the theory of continental shift which led to the modern theory of plate tectonics.

In comparison to its contemporaries, such as the Geographical Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Mitteilungen had a far greater interest in ethnography and the physical and natural sciences, leading to the inclusion of many fascinating, but sometimes obscure, maps on the most recent theories related to climatology, meteorology, botany, and zoology.

Printed colour. [AFR5573]