Southwest Arabia: Taiz, Sheet 1


This 1916 map shows the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula, an area in the present-day Republic of Yemen. The large scale allows for the display of detail about cities and towns, tribes, topographical features, and the inclusion of notes with information not often found on earlier maps of the region. The map covers the sparsely populated mountains in the north to the southern port of Mokha (or Mocha). The broad coastal plain along the Red Sea known as the Tihama is depicted as a thinly populated strand with roads or tracks ascending to the walled towns of Taiz (now Taʻizz) and Ibb in the highlands. Much of the Arabian Peninsula, including present-day Yemen, was part of the Ottoman Empire. Although most British military and political efforts in the early 20th century were concentrated towards the north, the entire region was caught up in the British campaign in World War I to wrest the Middle East from the Ottomans. A version of this map was first published in 1915. The copy shown here is a 1916 revision. Numbers on the map refer to elevations in feet. The map was created by the British Ordnance Survey in cooperation with the Geographical Section of the General Staff at the War Office, which published a series of nine maps of the peninsula covering Ta’izz, Mecca, Taʼif, Kunfuda (or al-Qunfudhah), Wadi Bishah, Abha, Wadi Shehran, Saada, and Sanaʻa. The cartography and ethnography is the product of research by Francis Richard Maunsell (1861−1929), a British army intelligence officer, traveler, and mapmaker.

Last updated: March 21, 2016