map of Arabia by the Czech T.E. Lawrence
according to the original investigations of Alois Musil, Professor of Oriental Studies at Charles University, Prague. New York American Geographical Society, under the patronage of the Czech Academy of Science, Letters, and Arts, and Charles R. Crane 1926
First edition. Printed map on four folded sheets, each measuring approximately 62 x 60 cm, scale 1:1,000,000. Amr. Geo. Soc. Oriental Explorations and Studies Nos. 2-5 In fine condition, preserved in original cloth slipcase.
A richly detailed map of northern Arabia, covering the region stretching between the Gulf of Aqaba, Aleppo, the Euphrates, and the Nefud Desert in Saudi Arabia, based on Alois Musil's expeditions in the region between 1908 and 1915. Musil began as a Czech orientalist and completed in German service, seeking to prevent British attempts to instigate Arab revolts against the Ottoman Empire. The map relied on Musil's own surveys and his collection of oral information from local inhabitants. He attracted criticism for the latter when it was first issued, but the result is a densely packed, informative view of the desert, with even pools of rainwater and broken wells noted. Militarily useful information, such as the state of roads, caravan or carriage, railway routes, and telegraph lines are indicated. An Arabic transliteration guide is printed on the map. This map was issued to accompany Musil's description of the Northern Hijaz, which the American Geographical Society published between 1926 and 1927. Musil's work, lacking the romantic airs of Doughty or Lawrence, and published more than a decade after his expeditions failed to attract the attention given to the great British travellers in Arabia, but his mapping remains an important survey of the region. Alois Musil's works on Arabia, running to seven substantial volumes, were published by the American Geographical Society, who issued this map and two others separately at the same time. The substantial cost was underwritten by Charles Crane (1858-1939), a wealthy American industrialist and Arabist. Musil died in Czechoslovakia in 1944.