Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Extremely rare map of Tibet, from an undetermined German source.

The following description is excerpted from Sven Heiden's "Southern Tibet: Discoveries in former times compared with my own researches in 1906-1908", in Volum VII History of the Exploration in the Kara-Koraum Mountains (Leipzig, 1922) (Chapter XIII).

Before proceeding any farther in our historical account, we have to consider a few maps embracing a period of 30 years, or from 1790 to 1819. Of a few of these maps which seemed to be of greater interest than the rest, I have reproductions made. . . . I have only picked out a few which would give quite a sufficient idea of the cartographical picture of Tibet at this epoch. I begin with a German map, the original of which is to be found at the State Library of Berlin. Its title is: Carte von Tibet nach den neuesten Nachrichten entworfen 1790 (PI. XIII). It is a very rough and clumsy sketch from a technical point of view, but it is interesting as a representation of geographical detail. The sources are not mentioned but, as far as Tibet is concerned, we easily find traces of D'Anville, Tieffenthaler and Rennell. On the Upper Indus we find Tschasircong, Latak and Pitoc exactly as on d'Anville's map, and the river joins the branch from the lakes forming the Ganges, though the name »Ganga ou Fleuve», is not entered on the river which in reality is the Sadej. On the latter, Latang, Tsaprong and Tschumurti are entered. North of the Latak River, which in reality is the Upper Indus, there is a latitudinal range of hills, from which a ramification is directed N. E. with Rutuh on its southern and See Tsarin on its northern side; exactly like d'Anville.

The eastern continuation of the principal range is called Kiangli oder Kangli Berge, corresponding to d'Anville's Kiancri M. , all three of course standing for Kangri or Ice Mountain, usually written Gangri. The sources of the Tsangpo or Brahmaputra are taken from d'Anville; even the Nauk. is present.

In this general situation created by the Lamas of Kang Hi and digested by D'Anville, the map of 1790 has adopted the hydrographical views of Tieffenthaler, so far as the two famous lakes are concerned.' But Tieffenthaler makes the Satlej take its origin from Mansaroar (See Mansaroar oder Mapang on the map), whereas the map of 1790 combines Tieftenthaler and d'Anville, and lets the Satlej of the former be the same river as the Ganga of the latter. The river from the Lanka Dhe is in both cases the Gagra. The temple of Mahadeo, i. e. Tugu-gompa is adopted. On the other hand the draftsman has not been able to accept the bifurcation of Tieffenthaler, who lets the Brahmaputra take its origin from Manasarovar. In this case he finds it more safe to follow d'Anville. The regions farther east are all taken from the French cartographer.

Augustus Petermann in his Geographische Mitteilungen (26 Band 1880) at page 15, credits the map to Forster's 1790 Neuesten Nachrichten aus Tibet, but have have been unable to locate this work.