• What we call “the world”…is not given as self-evident from the outset. It is apprehended… in an ongoing “crisis” of spacial consciousness.

    – Ernst Cassirer
  • Recent Posts

  • Maps on Exhibit during Geography Awareness Week

    04 Dec,2015 in Announcements by afriterra (updated 3 years ago)

    Afriterra presents an historical map exhibit sponsored by The United Nations International Map Year.Geography Awareness Week
    Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 15-21, 2015, 11am—7pm
    Afriterra Library, 400 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
    The Afriterra Library embraces its non-profit mission to gather and preserve the cartographic record of Africa, enabling a broader interpretation of the land, culture, and history of the great continent. This current exhibit advances 11 cartographic specimens demonstrating techniques of art, mathematics, geography, and geology. The themes include Exploration, Excavation, Exploitation, and Exoneration. While pausing at each record, one can use this experience to form a broad understanding of human endeavors. Here an individual can realize the past, including the successes, the failures, the creativity, the methods, and the philosophies, as a means to forge a path for one’s own future.
    Following are the maps that are on display to the public for this exhibit, titled Before Mandela: The Cartographic View of South Africa from 1513  to 1918


     
    Date:         1513
    Title:         Tabula Moderna Secunde Porcion
    Creator:   Martin Waldseemuller
    Origin:      Strasbourg
    Method:   Woodcut engraving on paper
    Link:          http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=779
    Notes:
    From the 1513 edition of the ancient Ptolemy Atlas which included several contemporary maps. This one was newly updated to include the Portugese landmarks in southern Africa.  Earlier in 1507, this group of prominent mathematicians gathered in St.Die near Strasbourg and produced the earliest world map to name ‘America’ including the first definitive depiction of a western hemisphere, the only example of which is now in the Library of Congress.


    Date:          1588
    Title:          Africae Tabvla X
    Creator:    Livio Sanuto
    Origin:      Venice
    Method:   Copper engraving on paper
    Link:          http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1209


    Notes
    This map was made by the Venetian cosmographer, mathematician and maker of instruments who was among the prestigious Lafreri school of engravers. Livio Sanuto planned a complete world atlas but only finished the 12 maps of Africa before his sudden death. This map was based on Giacomo Gastaldi’s 1564 wall-map of Africa and certain Portuguese sea charts for the mapping of the coasts and for the interior used textual accounts by Duarte Barbosa and João de Barros.


    Date:          1686
    Title:          Lo creddero nato dalle della Luna i Geografia…[globe gore]
    Creator:    Vicenzo Maria Coronelli
    Origin:      Venice
    Method:   Copper engraved globe gore on paper
    Link:          http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1048
    Notes:
    Globe gores are a set of map interruptions or sectors as designed by Johannes Schoner (1477-1547) which paste together to form a geometrically curved sphere. This technique reached a climax as Vicenzo Maria Coronelli, the Venetian cartographer, was noted to be the finest globe maker in the entire world. He also established the first geographical Society known as the Academia Cosmografica degli Argonauti. He was appointed Cosmographer of the Venice Republic, and later become a theologian and Father General of the Franciscan Order.


    Date:                1700
    Title:                Kaart von TAFFL BAAY vertoonende de Reede van C. de Goede Hoop
    Creator:          Johannes Van Keulen, Dutch East India Company, VOC
    Origin:            Amsterdam
    Method:         Copper engraving on paper
    Link:                http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=927
    Notes: Map is from ‘Zeefakkel’ [SeaTorch] by the van Keulen family which operated a chart-making and publishing firm in Amsterdam for nearly 200 years as the patented cartographers for the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC, est.1601). The VOC became the first public company to issue negotiable shares of stock and stood as the richest and most powerful entity in the world, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, negotiate treaties, strike its own coins, and establish colonies. Between 1602 and 1796 the VOC transported almost a million Europeans in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted more than 2.5 million tons of Asian goods. All made possible as shown here on two of their maps which demonstrate the strategic supply port and fresh water locations in the settlement and fort at Cape Town which stood as the essential maintenance stop in this route to the spice and silk trade of India, Indonesia, and even Japan.


    Date:               1750
    Title:               Paskaart van’t Zuydelykstegedeelte van AFRICA vertoonende DE SALDANHA BAY de BAY de GOEDE HOOP en DE BAY FALSO desselss Dieptens Droogtens Anker gronden.
    Creator:          Johannes Van Keulen, Dutch East India Company, VOC
    Origin:            Amsterdam
    Method:         Copper engraving on paper
    Link:                http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=452
    Notes:
    The original inhabitants of the Cape region arrived around 2000 BC and later composed of 2 native groups, the subsistence San and the pastoral Khoikhoi who possessed large herds of cattle and sheep and were known by a distinctive clicking language. The Portuguese Bartholomew Dias first wrote about the Cape in 1486 and the first Dutch settlement began in 1652 as Cape Town established by Jan Van Riebeeck. As the settlement expanded, Johannes VanKeulen derived this larger map from an earlier smaller map by Johannes Loots c.1700. This rare map of the area around the Cape of Good Hope remains the only exceptionally detailed look at the Dutch settlements in the region, including the identification of early farms and sources of fresh water springs.


    Date:                1783
    Title:                Mappa Geographica PROMONTORII BONAE SPEI…
    Creator:          Anders Sparrman
    Origin:            Stockholm
    Method:         Copper engraving on paper
    Link:                http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1478

    Notes
    : This map began as a separately published single sheet in 1779 in Sweden, and here from the 1st edition book dated 1783 authored by Anders Sparrman and titled ‘Resa till Goda Hopps-Udden, Sodra Pol-kretsen och Omkring Jordklotet, Samt till Hottentott och Caffer-Landen, aren “, and later published in English in 1785. This is the major eighteenth century account of South Africa and one of the earliest scientific descriptions of the country. Mendelssohn refers to it as the ‘most trustworthy account of the Cape Colony and the various races of people then residing in it…”. Sparrman was a Swedish naturalist, botanist, and a former pupil of Carl Linnaeus whom Charles Darwin sited as his greatest influence. Sparrman went to South Africa with the Swedish East India Company. The work includes accounts of his travels inland from the settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. He was at Cape Town in 1772 where he joined Capt. James Cook while he landed there on the outward passage of his second voyage around the world, and was asked to accompany Dr. Johann R. Forster in the natural history work. This map formed the basis for all later depictions including those of John Barrow, Francois LeVaillant, and hundreds more.


    Date:                1847
    Title:                Plan of the Eastern Frontier Cape of Good Hope and the adjacent country of the Kaffir Tribes included between the Great Fish and Kei Rivers.
    Creator:          Reid manuscript, Sapper Troop
    Origin:            Natal
    Link:                http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1001
    Method:         Manuscript ink on paper backed by linen
    Notes:
    This is a meticulously hand-drawn map showing forts, roads, settlements, topography, elevations and a list of 18 geographic points written on the upper corner. The map encompasses the most eastern frontier in the original homeland of Mandela’s forefathers, then it extends westward from Clarksburg to Port Elizabeth, and to the north beyond the confluence of the Kei River with the Klipplaat River. The map shows orientation to both magnetic and true north. The map can be dated to shortly after the War of Axe in 1847, as a work by Private John Reid, Royal Sappers and Miners, a draughtsman of remarkable competence. The first significant detachment of Sappers was sent to the Cape in 1834 after repeated requests from the commanding Royal Engineer, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Thompson. Their services were required for the building of forts, roads, bridges, etc. As part of their training at Chatham, those Sappers with an interest and aptitude for the subjects were given training in surveying and draughting techniques. Indeed the leading cartographers engaged in the mapping of South Africa’s expanding regions from the 1840s, John Arrowsmith, James Wyld and Henry Hall all acknowledged the Royal Engineers’ contribution of sketches and surveys to the success of their own.


    Date:                1878
    Title:                Map of the Transvaal and the Surrounding Territories…
    Creator:          Frederick A. Jeppe
    Origin:            Pretoria
    Method:         Copper engraving on 18 pieces laid on linen
    Link:                http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=902
    Notes:
    In 1835 the Great Trek led thousands of the earlier Dutch descendants or Boers from the British controlled Cape Colony to migrate to the eastern frontier across the Orange River and Vaal Rivers. There they established the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, which was recognized as independent by the British in 1852. Despite a treaty granting independence, the Orange Free State, Griqualand, and the Transvaal were annexed by the British by 1877. This extensive map shows that region in fine detail during the period of this turmoil. The map was used by both sides in the conflict which was not settled until the Boer War of 1899 to 1902. Frederick Jeppe emigrated from Germany in 1861 and began his carrier as a postmaster and later as cartographer. In 1868 Jeppe, with the help of Alexander A.B. Merensky, compiled an ‘Original map of the Transvaal or South African Republic ‘on a scale of 1:1 850 000, published as an annexure in ‘Petermann’s Geographische Mitteilungen ‘(1868, Vol. 24). It was the first topographic map of the territory compiled locally from farm diagrams and other information. The 1878 revision here is greatly enlarged and expanded and notable as it includes a table of Postal Routes. This map was the first map of the Transvaal to show topographical detail and was the crowning achievement of nineteenth century South African cartography. It highlighted the Petermann/German cartographic influence in the Transvaal as opposed to the British cartographic influence in other parts of the Colony.


    Date:              1879
    Title:              Map of Zulu Land compiled from most recent information
    Creator:        Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (HMSO)
    Origin:           London
    Method:        Lithograph on paper
    Link:              http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=2348
    Notes:
    This map was included in the bound volume of Parliamentary papers and letters, ‘Further Correspondence Respecting the Affairs of South Africa. [C. 2482] (In continuation of [C. 2454] of August 1879)’. The map covers the eastern frontier north of Durban between Lesotho and Swaziland. It stands as the definitive record of the Zulu Kingdoms at the beginning of the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879—1896. At this moment of history, Cetshwayo was the established leader of the strongest Zulu Kingdom in Natal. He was born in 1826, a very troubled period in the history of the Zulu kingdom when Shaka Zulu was wielding a very powerful command. After Shaka’s death, his half-brother Mpande, Cetshwayo’s father, became King of the Zulus in 1840 following many conflicts and consolidations among Zulu factions. When Cetshwayo inherited the Zulu leadership, Sir Bartle Frere was appointed British high commissioner to South Africa in 1879. A twisted triangular conflict escalated over the Policy of Confederation to bring British vs. Boer vs. Zulu independence under common control, with a view to implement a policy of economic development. Sir Bartle Frere saw the self-reliant Zulu kingdom as a threat to this policy. The main objective was to occupy the Zulu royal kraal at Ulundi [inland for St. Lucia Bay] by advancing on it from three directions. This operation was similar to the Zulu’s own tactic of attacking from three sides by means of the main force or chest in the center, and an extending left and right ‘horns’ on each side.


    Date:                1895
    Title:                Carte Du District Aurifere Du Witwatersrand Transvaal
    Creator:          Charles Sydney Goldmann
    Origin:            Paris
    Method:         Lithograph on paper
    Link:                http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1849
    Notes: The Witwatersrand basin was created during the Archean Eon before continental land masses were separated by plate tectonics. It is therefore amongst the oldest geological structures on earth. It is more than 50 Kilometers long and 5 kilometers thick and holds the world’s largest known gold reserves containing almost as much gold as the rest of the Earth’s surface combined.  The origin of gold is locked deep in the Earth’s core. Geologic evidence gives three stages in how the gold deposits reached the surface here more than 3 billion years ago. The process included volcanic extrusions, ancient lake sedimentations, and the largest verified meteor impact on Earth, as the 300 Km Vredefort crater. All of this and all our current knowledge of the Earth’s structure and even the origin of life can be traced to a seminal map that changed the world in 1815 by William Smith entitled “A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales”. This work opened the reality of ‘deep-time’ based on ordered layers of earth sediments. A generation later in 1885, two itinerant prospectors, George Walker and George Harrison, stumbled on surface outcrops of gold-speckled conglomerate on an old farm that is now near the center of Johannesburg but they never understood the deeper capacity. However, Charles Sydney Goldmann did, and made a fortune in multiple mining companies in and around this basin. He later became a journalist, a politician, and author of a three volume text on mining and geology. As such, Goldmann’s extensive map of the Witwatersrand is a superb preview of how geologic structure could be utilized in practical engineering design and resource development, foreshadowing fossil fuel, oil, gas, and energy strategies, which now substantially form our modern enterprise.


    Date:                1918
    Title:                Cape Province, Transvaal… Western/Eastern Section
    Creator:          John George Bartholomew, The Times Atlas
    Origin:            Edinburgh
    Method:         Lithograph on paper in two parts
    Links:              http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1706
                              http://catalog.afriterra.org/viewMap.cmd?number=1707
    Notes:
    John George Bartholomew was the grandson of the Edinburgh publisher, George Bartholomew (b.1784). This firm has been one of the most prestigious and enduring cartographic firms remaining a standard in continual publication to the present time; now merged as part of the multinational HarperCollins Publishers under Rupert Murdoch’s News International Corporation. Bach in 1918 this exemplary map from the Times Atlas outlined the thorough geographic data detailing the population in South Africa at the birth of Nelson Mandela. However it had nothing to indicate the obscure home-village of Mvezo on the Bashee River just south of Clarkebury. As such, nothing could portend the unanticipated transformation and the unimaginable unification that Mandela was destined to perform.

    Post navigation