In the winter of 1873-74, Gerhard Rohlfs led a scientific expedition, at the behest of Khedive Ismail, to explore the Great Sand Sea west of Egypt's Dakhla Oasis and to reach Kufra Oasis in what is now Libya. The expedition set a new standard for scientific exploration of the Sahara: prior to this, European travelers in the eastern Sahara had kept mostly to established caravan routes. And whereas Rohlfs had earlier explored parts of the western Sahara more or less on his own, on this expedition he took along several leading scientists: Dr. Karl Zittel, a geologist-paleontologist; Dr. Wilhem Jordan, a geographer and geodetic surveyor; Paul Ascherson, a botanist; and Ph. Remele, a noted photographer. Together they made up the first interdisciplinary team to conduct a geoscientific exploration of the region. Publication of Zittel's About the Geologic Structure of the Libyan Desert in 1880 was the beginning of the systematic geologic mapping of Egypt. Three Months in the Libyan Desert is Rohlfs' account of the expedition, its adventures, and its many trials. The original German edition remains one of the classic accounts of early desert exploration, and this edition makes it available for the first time in English.
Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
Number of pages: 272
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