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AFGHANISTAN / PAKISTAN: Geological Map of the country between Sibi and Girishk [with] Geological Map of the neighborhood of Kandahar.


The first geological map of the critical corridor between Girisk, Afghanistan through Kandahar and Quetta to Sibi, Pakistan, by the Austrian-British adventurer Carl Griesbach.



This fascinating large format map represents the first geological map of the corridor between Girisk, Afghanistan through Kandahar and Quetta to Sibi, Pakistan.  The complex geology of this region, which straddles the southern part of the Hindu Kush Mountains, is captured in seven different zones, distinguished by their own colours.  The lower right corner features a detailed inset geological map of the vicinity of Kandahar.


The map was made by the Austrian-British cartographer Carl L. Griesbach during the Second Anglo–Afghan War (1878-80), during which British forces conquered Afghanistan.  The survey was executed as part of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), established in 1851, it was an epic programme to geologically map all of British India and associated regions.


Carl L. Griesbach (1847 -1907) was an Austrian-British adventurer and geologist who played a leading role in the geological mapping of parts of the South Asia.  He was born in Vienna to an Austrian family with a long history of service to the British crown.  He joined the geological service in his native land before leading scientific missions to Southern Africa.  Subsequently, he joined the British Army and was stationed to fight in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, where he saw service in many of the conflict’s key battles. During lulls in the fighting, he managed to conduct the first geological reconnaissance of parts of Afghanistan, aspects of which became the basis of the present map.  He later returned to Afghanistan as to serve on the Afghan Boundary Commission (1884-6), before serving as the official Geologist to the Amir of Kabul.  From 1894 to 1903 he served in Calcutta as the Director of the GSI, before retiring to Austria.  He died in Graz in 1907.

The present map was printed within an edition of the GSI’s journal, Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India, vol. XVIII, part 1 (Calcutta, 1881).

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