Imperiia: a spatial history of the Russian EmpireMain MenuAboutDashboardsData CatalogMapStoriesGalleriesGamesWho said history was boring?Map ShelfTeach Our ContentCiting the ProjectKelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f5The Imperiia Project // Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
Tower of Babel
12020-05-01T05:51:04-04:00Kelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f591Full Title: Ethnographic Map of Kamchatka (Ethnographische Karte Kamtschatka's von Dittmar) // von Dittmar (1853) // Library of Congress. Catalog permalink: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.ndlpcoop/mtfxmp.nmap039plain2020-05-01T05:51:04-04:00Kelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f5
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12020-05-01T05:22:25-04:00Tower of Babel7a dozen colors, a dozen tongues, and one map to order them allplain2020-05-01T15:49:56-04:001853Carl von Dittmar wrote historical and ethnographic studies of the peoples of Kamchatka based on his travels there between 1851 and 1855. This map is dated 1853; he published a detailed explanation of the categories represented in the map legend in 1854. If you read German, you can consult it here (see pages 16-18).
This "modern" spin on ethnographic mapping involved not simply evoking the presence of a diverse group of peoples (which was the hallmark of a great empire in the 18th century), but imposing order on that diverse group of peoples. In a sense, von Dittmar's map is an attempt to bind certain peoples to certain spaces through washes of color (and certainly through those neat, horizontal blue lines marking Russian settlements).