There is a widespread geopolitical assumption that the Middle East is a well-mapped region. In fact, an unidentified number of key areas has not been surveyed on ground for 150 years, since the early surveys of the British Royal Engineers, despite the abundant maps which were produced for the region during the 19th and 20th centuries CE. Drawing on 17-years of continuous field expeditions by Sinai Peninsula Research (SPR), the newly discovered 150 years gap in mapping and mapmaking uncovers a dramatic loss in cartographic knowledge on maps.
Ahmed Shams, Durham University
Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS
London Middle East Institute