Wyld's Military Staff Map of Central Asia and Afghanistan


This impressively detailed map of Central Asia, dated 1879, was published during the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80) by the British mapmaker James Wyld the younger (1812–87). The map shows the vast domains acquired by the Russian Empire in Central Asia (present-day Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan) in the late 19th century, as well as Afghanistan, eastern Persia, and parts of Baluchistan (present-day Pakistan), India, and China. The political boundaries shown on the map delineate the khanates of Bukhara, Khiva, and Afghanistan, as well as the borders the Russian Empire, Persia, and Baluchistan. After studying at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, James Wyld the younger joined his father’s mapmaking and publishing firm, which he eventually inherited. Wyld published numerous maps, many of which were intended to satisfy public interest in current events, such as the Anglo-Afghan Wars, the California Gold Rush, and the Crimean War. Wyld’s maps were of high quality, and he was appointed geographer to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Last updated: September 30, 2016