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Berghaus Physikalischer Atlas

Prof. Dr. Hermann Berghaus
Gotha: Justus Perthes

Full title

Berghaus Physikalischer Atlas. Dritte Ausgabe. 75 Karten in Sieben Abteilungen, enhaltend 514 Darstellungen uber Geologie, Hydrographie, Meterologie, Erdmagnetismus, Pflanzenverbreitung, Tierverbreitung und Volkerkunde

Third edition of famous and very rare Berghaus Physikalischer atlas published by Herman Berghaus (nephew of Heinrich Berghaus - publisher of the original edition of this atlas). The atlas contains 75 double-page maps divided in 7 chapters - Geology (15 maps), Hydrography (11 maps), Meteorology (12 maps), Earth's magnetism (5 maps), Plants (8 maps), Animals (9 maps) and Ethnology (15 maps). Each chapter has its own "title page" and begins with several pages of description about maps. The chapters were also published as separate books. The maps are very scientific and contain astonishing amount of information. The colourful maps were printed using litography but many maps also have lines coloured by hand.

The first chapter - Geology - starts with physical map of world hemispheres, followed by map of lowlands. One of the more interesting maps is the map of volcanic activity - showing impact of "recent" eruption of Krakatua volcano 27th August 1883. The map shows the range of acoustic blast, which was heard in Perth some 2000 km away, and also the timing of tsunami wave propagation, which was caused by the eruption. The map of glaciers shows great terrain cartography, so typical for maps published by Justus Perthes in Gotha.

The second chapter - Hydrography - begins with several thematic maps such as river divisions, major "running" and "standing" water features, map of coasts, tides, sea temperatures, sea currents (marked with their relative speeds) or sea depths.

The third chapter - Meteorology - contains several maps of seasonal isotherms, maps of prevailing winds, air pressure and other weather anomalies, Foehn maps and maps of rain distribution.

The fifth chapter - Plants - contains 4 world maps and 4 regional maps of plant distribution.

The sight chapter - Animals -contains maps of geographical distribution of mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, insects, domestic animals and parasites and also very interesting and detailed maps of vertical distribution of main animal species, both above and below the sea level. All animal species are presented with their latin names.

The last chapter - Ethnology - is the largest, most unique and interesting chapter in the atlas. The chapter begins with stunning alphabetical list of all known nations and tribes containing more than 4000 names. The first page presents world map of human skin types and a map of human hair properties like colour, length, density, "curliness", hair diameter or hair profile. The religious maps show not only the geographical distribution of religions, but also religious habits like human sacrifices, cannibalism, religious tattooing or circumcision. Another great maps are the maps of endemic and pandemic diseases, the latter showing the origins, historical dates of spreading and distribution channels of pandemic diseases like cholera, yellow fever, typhus, smallpox and many more. Also very interesting are maps of clothing, food, employment and housing.


Very good condition internaly and externally, only about 2 cm small tears on bottom and top of the spine. All maps are present and in near perfect condition, some of the maps have moderate yellowing.

75 double page maps
Width × Height
Total map area
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