Sketch Map of a Part of Russian Central Asia to Illustrate a Paper by W. Rickmer Rickmers


This 1907 map of Russian Central Asia covers a region falling within the boundaries of present-day Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. At the time the map was made, most of this vast territory was part of the Russian Empire. Willi Rickmer Rickmers (1873–1965) was a German mountaineer and explorer who undertook several expeditions in Central Asia and the Caucasus before journeying to the foothills of the Pamir range in eastern Tajikistan in 1906. This expedition, on which Rickmers was accompanied by his wife and fellow mountaineer C. Mabel Duff Rickmers, reached as far east as the Darvaz region in Tajikistan and explored along the way the Zarafshan River valley and the Zarafshan glacier as well as the Fann Mountains of western Tajikistan. The map includes two insets highlighting the Fann Mountains in greater detail. The map was made to illustrate a lecture delivered by Rickmers at the Royal Geographical Society in London, and Rickmers’s paper was published in the June 1907 edition of the Geographical Journal. An avid explorer in her own right, Mabel Rickmers was the author of The Chronology of India from Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century (1899) and was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Last updated: January 8, 2018