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Description

Mapping The Gulf of Salwah

Finely executed map of Qatar and the region of Saudi Arabia to the west of Riyadh, published by the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Cheesman was the first man to map the Arabian coast from the Gulf of Salwah to Uqair.  The map tracks the route of an ornithological expedition in Saudi Arabia, beginning at Uquair (on the coast just south of Bahrain), passing through the Hasa oasis and Al-Hofuf to Yabreen oasis in the Eastern Province, during which Robert Ernest Cheesman collected 300 specimens, which now reside in the  British Museum. An inset shows all of Arabia during the campaign for the unification of Saudi Arabia.  Cheeseman mapped his route using a 3-inch theodolite and a half chronometer watch, fixing the location of Al-Holuf for the first time, and presented his findings to Ibn Saud at his court in the city. 

The map accompanies Major Robert Ernest Cheeseman's article on the Deserts of Jafura and Jabrin, published in Vol. LXV No. of The Geographical Journal, February 1925.  The 30 page article provides Cheesman's account of his travels across Arabia, illustrated with several plates and this finely executed map. Pre-dating his book, "In Unknown Arabia," published first in 1926, Cheeseman' work is highly prized as the first European to travel across some parts, such as Murra and Jabrin.

Inspired by the expedition undertaken by ornithologist Lieutenant Boyd Alexander, killed in a native dispute in Nyeri in 1909, Cheesman set off to bring back a collection of desert animals and birds from central Arabia. Features discussion of some bird encounters: the White-eared Bulbul (P leucotis mesiopotamiae) and a new species of Wren Warbler (Prinia gracilis hufufae), the Desert Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo desertorum), two species of Desert Larks (Ammomanes cinctura pallida and A deserti azizi) and more, as well as descriptions of ruins - those at Abu Zahmul, 'Oqair, meetings with various sheikhs, among them the well known Sheikh Abdullah ibn Jiluwi and the Amir of Jabrin as well as a catalogue of specimens obtained.

Cheesman presented his findings to Ibn Sa'ud at his court in Hofuf. He was later given the Gill Memorial Award for this work by the Royal Geographical Society.