Aden Protectorate


Shown here is a map of Aden, at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, published in 1914 from data collected in 1891−94 and 1901−4. It shows details such as mountains, wadis, settlements, and tribal boundaries, transportation and communications links, and topographic features. The survey work for the map was directed by Lieutenant Colonel F.B. Longe, then surveyor general of India. It was published under his successor, Colonel Sir Sidney Burrard, by the Survey of India. The map has a number of curious features and many of the markings are ambiguous. It is odd that the port of Aden and its rival strategic harbor Perim (Jazirat Mayyun) are so sketchily displayed given their importance as coaling stations for the British Navy and merchant shipping. There is a minimal key and a distance scale in miles; relief is shown by hachures and spot elevations marked in feet. The map gives the height of Jabal an Nabi Shu‘ayb as 8,588 feet, while the mountain actually rises to 3,670 meters (over 12,000 feet). The map shows the serpentine, often indistinct, Anglo-Ottoman border existing at the outbreak of World War I. A note indicates the adjoining sheets in the series of Southwest Asia maps. The port of Aden and the numerous sheikhdoms of the hinterland became British possessions by treaty beginning in the late 1830s, and eventually became the territory under British Indian administration known as the Aden Protectorate. The map was printed at the Survey of India facility in Calcutta by the technique known as heliozincography, a photographic process using zinc plates that was developed in Britain and that enabled accurate reproduction of images and text.

Last updated: March 21, 2016