Iran. Eastern Half Including Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and the Uzbek Khanate on the Oxus


This 1878 map depicts Afghanistan as well as a narrow band of eastern Persia and adjoining regions. The cartographer, Heinrich Kiepert (1818−99), was a German geographer, who published several atlases of the ancient world during his career. The title, Iran. Östliche hӓlfte enthaltend Afghanistan, Balutschistan, und die Özbeghischen Khanate am Oxus (Iran. Eastern Half Including Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and the Uzbek Khanate on the Oxus), can perhaps be understood in terms of historic Persian claims over parts of Afghanistan and Baluchistan, dating from the Safavid and Afsharid dynasties of Persia. Given the author’s interest in ancient history, it is also possible that, in choosing his title, he was referring to the history of the ancient world and the Achaemenid Empire of Persia (550−330 BC). Whatever the case, prior to the publication of this map the ruling Qajar dynasty of Persia had ceded its claims to Afghanistan in the Treaty of Paris (1857), concluded with Great Britain after the Anglo-Persian War of 1856−57. Persia also later ceded large parts of the Makran coast (in 1863) and Baluchistan (in 1872) directly to British India. Shading in different colors is used to indicate the Russian and British spheres of influence. The map shows international borders, important cities, mountains, and railroads. The note above the title indicates that “the final section of the great Indian railroad from Peshawar to Rawalpindi is still under construction.” Three distance scales are provided: kilometers, English statute miles, and German geographic miles. Kiepert was a professor of geography at Humboldt University in Berlin from 1854 until his death.

Last updated: January 8, 2018