A False Emptiness: How Historians May Have Been Misled by Early Nineteenth Century Maps of South‐eastern Africa

@article{Etherington2004AFE,
  title={A False Emptiness: How Historians May Have Been Misled by Early Nineteenth Century Maps of South‐eastern Africa},
  author={Norman Etherington},
  journal={Imago Mundi},
  year={2004},
  volume={56},
  pages={67 - 86}
}
Long‐standing historical debates on the alleged depopulation of parts of south‐eastern Africa in the period between 1820 and 1835 may well have been affected by the use of pre‐1850 maps, published before scientific surveys of the interior had been conducted. Much of the geographical and demographic information inscribed on the early maps was obtained from accounts of missionaries and casual travellers rather than from surveys. All the maps produced during those years appear to share a… 

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