Portal:Geography

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The Geography Portal

Geography (from Ancient Greek γεωγραφία geōgraphía; combining 'Earth' and gráphō 'write') is the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be. While geography is specific to Earth, many concepts can be applied more broadly to other celestial bodies in the field of planetary science. Geography has been called "a bridge between natural science and social science disciplines."

Origins of many of the concepts in geography can be traced to Greek

Claudius Ptolemy (100 – 170 AD). This work created the so-called "Ptolemaic tradition" of geography, which included "Ptolemaic cartographic theory." However, the concepts of geography (such as cartography) date back to the earliest attempts to understand the world spatially, with the earliest example of an attempted world map dating to the 9th century BCE in ancient Babylon. The history of geography
as a discipline spans cultures and millennia, being independently developed by multiple groups, and cross-pollinated by trade between these groups. The core concepts of geography consistent between all approaches are a focus on space, place, time, and scale.

Today, geography is an extremely broad discipline with multiple approaches and modalities. There have been multiple attempts to organize the discipline, including the four traditions of geography, and into branches. Techniques employed can generally be broken down into

mixed-methods approaches. Common techniques include cartography, remote sensing, interviews, and surveying. (Full article...
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Featured articles are displayed here, which represent some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

  • Image 1 View of Mount Samalas along with Mount Rinjani In 1257, a catastrophic eruption occurred at Samalas, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Lombok. The event had a probable Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7, making it one of the largest volcanic eruptions during the Holocene epoch. It left behind a large caldera that contains Lake Segara Anak. Later volcanic activity created more volcanic centres in the caldera, including the Barujari cone, which remains active. The event created eruption columns reaching tens of kilometres into the atmosphere and pyroclastic flows that buried much of Lombok and crossed the sea to reach the neighbouring island of Sumbawa. The flows destroyed human habitations, including the city of Pamatan, which was the capital of a kingdom on Lombok. Ash from the eruption fell as far as 340 kilometres (210 mi) away in Java; the volcano deposited more than 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) of rocks and ash. (Full article...)

    Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7, making it one of the largest volcanic eruptions during the Holocene epoch. It left behind a large caldera that contains Lake Segara Anak. Later volcanic activity created more volcanic centres in the caldera, including the Barujari cone, which remains active.

    The event created eruption columns reaching tens of kilometres into the atmosphere and pyroclastic flows that buried much of Lombok and crossed the sea to reach the neighbouring island of Sumbawa. The flows destroyed human habitations, including the city of Pamatan, which was the capital of a kingdom on Lombok. Ash from the eruption fell as far as 340 kilometres (210 mi) away in Java; the volcano deposited more than 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) of rocks and ash. (Full article...
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  • Image 2 The Western Chalukya Empire (/tʃəˈluːkjə/ chə-LOO-kyə) ruled most of the western Deccan, South India, between the 10th and 12th centuries. This Kannada-speaking dynasty is sometimes called the Kalyani Chalukya after its regal capital at Kalyani, today's Basavakalyan in the modern Bidar district of Karnataka state, and alternatively the Later Chalukya from its theoretical relationship to the 6th-century Chalukya dynasty of Badami. The dynasty is called Western Chalukyas to differentiate from the contemporaneous Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, a separate dynasty. Before the rise of these Chalukyas, the Rashtrakuta Empire of Manyakheta controlled most of the Deccan Plateau and Central India for over two centuries. In 973, seeing confusion in the Rashtrakuta empire after a successful invasion of their capital by the ruler of the Paramara dynasty of Malwa, Tailapa II, a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruling from Bijapur region defeated his overlords and made Manyakheta his capital. The dynasty quickly rose to power and grew into an empire under Someshvara I who moved the capital to Kalyani. For over a century, the two empires of South India, the Western Chalukyas and the Chola dynasty of Thanjavur fought many fierce wars to control the fertile region of Vengi. During these conflicts, the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, distant cousins of the Western Chalukyas but related to the Cholas by marriage, took sides with the Cholas further complicating the situation. During the rule of Vikramaditya VI, in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, the Western Chalukyas convincingly contended with the Cholas and reached a peak, ruling territories that spread over most of the Deccan, between the Narmada River in the north and Kaveri River in the south. His exploits were not limited to the south for even as a prince, during the rule of Someshvara I, he had led successful military campaigns as far east as modern Bihar and Bengal. During this period the other major ruling families of the Deccan, the Hoysala Empire, the Seuna dynasty, the Kakatiya dynasty and the Kalachuris of Kalyani, were subordinates of the Western Chalukyas and gained their independence only when the power of the Chalukya waned during the later half of the 12th century. (Full article...)
    Hoysala Empire, the Seuna dynasty, the Kakatiya dynasty and the Kalachuris of Kalyani, were subordinates of the Western Chalukyas and gained their independence only when the power of the Chalukya waned during the later half of the 12th century. (Full article...
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  • Image 3 A forest of coast redwoods in fog The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are a complex of one national park and three California state parks located in the United States along the coast of northern California. The combined RNSP contain Redwood National Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The parks' 139,000 acres (560 km2) preserve 45 percent of all remaining old-growth coast redwood forests. Located in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, the four parks protect the endangered coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)—the tallest, among the oldest, and one of the most massive tree species on Earth—which thrives in the humid temperate rainforest. The park region is highly seismically active and prone to tsunamis. The parks preserve 37 miles (60 km) of pristine coastline, indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, waterways, as well as threatened animal species, such as the Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl, and Steller's sea lion. (Full article...)

    A forest of coast redwoods in fog

    The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are a complex of one national park and three California state parks located in the United States along the coast of northern California. The combined RNSP contain Redwood National Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The parks' 139,000 acres (560 km2) preserve 45 percent of all remaining old-growth coast redwood forests.

    Located in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, the four parks protect the endangered coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)—the tallest, among the oldest, and one of the most massive tree species on Earth—which thrives in the humid temperate rainforest. The park region is highly seismically active and prone to tsunamis. The parks preserve 37 miles (60 km) of pristine coastline, indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, waterways, as well as threatened animal species, such as the Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl, and Steller's sea lion. (Full article...)
  • Image 4 The title page of a 1634 version of Hues' Tractatus de globis in the collection of the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal Robert Hues (1553 – 24 May 1632) was an English mathematician and geographer. He attended St. Mary Hall at Oxford, and graduated in 1578. Hues became interested in geography and mathematics, and studied navigation at a school set up by Walter Raleigh. During a trip to Newfoundland, he made observations which caused him to doubt the accepted published values for variations of the compass. Between 1586 and 1588, Hues travelled with Thomas Cavendish on a circumnavigation of the globe, performing astronomical observations and taking the latitudes of places they visited. Beginning in August 1591, Hues and Cavendish again set out on another circumnavigation of the globe. During the voyage, Hues made astronomical observations in the South Atlantic, and continued his observations of the variation of the compass at various latitudes and at the Equator. Cavendish died on the journey in 1592, and Hues returned to England the following year. In 1594, Hues published his discoveries in the Latin work Tractatus de globis et eorum usu (Treatise on Globes and Their Use) which was written to explain the use of the terrestrial and celestial globes that had been made and published by Emery Molyneux in late 1592 or early 1593, and to encourage English sailors to use practical astronomical navigation. Hues' work subsequently went into at least 12 other printings in Dutch, English, French and Latin. (Full article...)

    latitudes and at the Equator. Cavendish died on the journey in 1592, and Hues returned to England the following year.

    In 1594, Hues published his discoveries in the Latin work Tractatus de globis et eorum usu (Treatise on Globes and Their Use) which was written to explain the use of the terrestrial and celestial globes that had been made and published by Emery Molyneux in late 1592 or early 1593, and to encourage English sailors to use practical astronomical navigation. Hues' work subsequently went into at least 12 other printings in Dutch, English, French and Latin. (Full article...
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  • Image 5 Map of ancient Egypt, showing major cities and sites of the Dynastic period (c. 3150 BC to 30 BC) Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeast Africa. It was concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt unfolded as a series of stable kingdoms interspersed by periods of relative instability known as “Intermediate Periods.” The various kingdoms fall into one of three categories: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age, or the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Ancient Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power during the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Levant. After this period, it entered an era of slow decline. During the course of its history, Ancient Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians under Alexander the Great. The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province. Egypt remained under Roman control until the 640s AD, when it was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate. (Full article...)

    a Roman province. Egypt remained under Roman control until the 640s AD, when it was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate. (Full article...
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  • Image 6 Nansen in 1890 Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (Norwegian: [ˈfrɪ̂tːjɔf ˈnɑ̀nsn̩]; 10 October 1861 – 13 May 1930) was a Norwegian polymath and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He gained prominence at various points in his life as an explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and co-founded the Fatherland League. He led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, traversing the island on cross-country skis. He won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his Fram expedition of 1893–1896. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. He was elected an International Member of the American Philosophical Society in 1897. (Full article...)

    cross-country skis. He won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his Fram expedition of 1893–1896. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. He was elected an International Member of the American Philosophical Society in 1897. (Full article...
    )
  • Image 7 17th- or 18th-century Hajj certificate showing the Kaaba within the Masjid al-Haram Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam was an exhibition held at the British Museum in London from 26 January to 15 April 2012. It was the world's first major exhibition telling the story, visually and textually, of the hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Textiles, manuscripts, historical documents, photographs, and art works from many different countries and eras were displayed to illustrate the themes of travel to Mecca, hajj rituals, and the Kaaba. More than two hundred objects were included, drawn from forty public and private collections in a total of fourteen countries. The largest contributor was David Khalili's family trust, which lent many objects that would later be part of the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage. The exhibition was formally opened by Prince Charles in a ceremony attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, son of King Abdullah, the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. It was popular both with Muslims and non-Muslims, attracting nearly 120,000 adult visitors and favourable press reviews. This success inspired the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the Arab World Institute in Paris, the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, and the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam to stage their own hajj-themed exhibitions with contributions from the Khalili Collection. (Full article...)

    Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam to stage their own hajj-themed exhibitions with contributions from the Khalili Collection. (Full article...
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  • Image 8 View across a lake RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor is an 89-hectare (220-acre) wetlands nature reserve in the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It lies on the junction of the A633 and A6195 roads and is bordered by the Trans Pennine Trail long-distance path. Following the end of coal mining locally, the Dearne Valley had become a derelict post-industrial area, and the removal of soil to cover an adjacent polluted site enabled the creation of the wetlands at Old Moor. Old Moor is managed to benefit bitterns, breeding waders such as lapwings, redshanks and avocets, and wintering golden plovers. A calling male little bittern was present in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Passerine birds include a small colony of tree sparrows and good numbers of willow tits, thriving here despite a steep decline elsewhere in the UK. (Full article...)

    wetlands nature reserve in the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It lies on the junction of the A633 and A6195 roads and is bordered by the Trans Pennine Trail long-distance path. Following the end of coal mining locally, the Dearne Valley had become a derelict post-industrial area, and the removal of soil to cover an adjacent polluted site enabled the creation of the wetlands at Old Moor.

    Old Moor is managed to benefit bitterns, breeding waders such as lapwings, redshanks and avocets, and wintering golden plovers. A calling male little bittern was present in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Passerine birds include a small colony of tree sparrows and good numbers of willow tits, thriving here despite a steep decline elsewhere in the UK. (Full article...
    )
  • Image 9 Chetco River near Boulder Creek The Chetco River is a 56-mile-long (90 km) stream located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Oregon. It drains approximately 352 square miles (912 km2) of Curry County. Flowing through a rugged and isolated coastal region, it descends rapidly from about 3,200 feet (975 m) to sea level at the Pacific Ocean. Except for the lowermost 5 miles (8 km), the river is located entirely within the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest. The river rises in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, northwest of Chetco Peak at the junction of the Oregon Coast Range and the Klamath Mountains. It flows generally north, west, and then southwest, before emptying into the ocean between Brookings and Harbor, approximately 6 miles (10 km) north of the California state line. The Chetco River's watershed remains largely undeveloped, protected by the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. The upper 45 miles (72 km) of the river have been designated Wild and Scenic since 1988. Native Americans have lived in the Chetco River's watershed for the last one to three thousand years. Several explorers, including Sir Francis Drake, George Vancouver, and Jedediah Smith, visited the region between the 16th and 19th centuries, and found the Chetco people inhabiting the area. Non-indigenous settlers arrived soon after gold and other precious metals were discovered in the 1840s and 1850s. The town of Brookings was founded in the early 20th century, and incorporated in 1951. Fourteen thousand residents of Brookings and Harbor rely on the Chetco for drinking water. (Full article...)

    Wild and Scenic since 1988.

    Native Americans have lived in the Chetco River's watershed for the last one to three thousand years. Several explorers, including Sir Francis Drake, George Vancouver, and Jedediah Smith, visited the region between the 16th and 19th centuries, and found the Chetco people inhabiting the area. Non-indigenous settlers arrived soon after gold and other precious metals were discovered in the 1840s and 1850s. The town of Brookings was founded in the early 20th century, and incorporated in 1951. Fourteen thousand residents of Brookings and Harbor rely on the Chetco for drinking water. (Full article...
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  • Image 10 Der Überfall bei Hochkirch am 14. Oktober 1758, Hyacinthe de la Pegna The Battle of Hochkirch took place on 14 October 1758, during the Third Silesian War (part of the Seven Years' War). After several weeks of maneuvering for position, an Austrian army of 80,000 commanded by Lieutenant Field Marshal Leopold Josef Graf Daun surprised the Prussian army of 30,000–36,000 commanded by Frederick the Great. The Austrian army overwhelmed the Prussians and forced a general retreat. The battle took place in and around the village of Hochkirch, 9 kilometers (6 mi) east of Bautzen, Saxony. Historians generally consider the battle as among Frederick's greatest blunders. Contrary to the advice of his subordinates, he refused to believe that the typically cautious Austrian commander Leopold von Daun would bring his troops into battle. The Austrian force ambushed his army in a pre-dawn attack. Over 30% of Frederick's army was defeated; five generals were killed and he lost his artillery park and a vast quantity of supplies. Although Daun had scored a complete surprise, his attempt to pursue the retreating Prussians was unsuccessful. The escaped force united with another corps in the vicinity, and regained momentum over the winter. (Full article...)

    Leopold Josef Graf Daun surprised the Prussian army of 30,000–36,000 commanded by Frederick the Great. The Austrian army overwhelmed the Prussians and forced a general retreat. The battle took place in and around the village of Hochkirch, 9 kilometers (6 mi) east of Bautzen, Saxony.

    Historians generally consider the battle as among Frederick's greatest blunders. Contrary to the advice of his subordinates, he refused to believe that the typically cautious Austrian commander Leopold von Daun would bring his troops into battle. The Austrian force ambushed his army in a pre-dawn attack. Over 30% of Frederick's army was defeated; five generals were killed and he lost his artillery park and a vast quantity of supplies. Although Daun had scored a complete surprise, his attempt to pursue the retreating Prussians was unsuccessful. The escaped force united with another corps in the vicinity, and regained momentum over the winter. (Full article...
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  • Image 11 Upper Pine Bottom State Park was a Bureau of Forests picnic area until its 1962 transfer to the Bureau of State Parks. Upper Pine Bottom State Park is a 5-acre (2.0 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is in Cummings Township on Pennsylvania Route 44 and is surrounded by the Tiadaghton State Forest. It is on Upper Pine Bottom Run, which gave the park its name and is a tributary of Pine Creek. Upper Pine Bottom State Park is in the Pine Creek Gorge, where the streams have cut through five major rock formations from the Devonian and Carboniferous periods. The earliest recorded inhabitants of the area were the Susquehannocks, followed by the Iroquois, Lenape, and Shawnee. Upper Pine Bottom Run was the site of a furnace for pig iron in 1814, the first sawmill was built on it in 1815, and in 1825 an earlier bridle path across its headwaters became a turnpike. The lumber industry led to the clearcutting of the area in the 19th century. The state forest was started in 1898 and the park was formed from it by 1923 as a Class B public camp. The Civilian Conservation Corps had a camp on the run and improved the park in the 1930s, but it was not transferred to the Bureau of State Parks until 1962. Though it began as a public campsite and once had a picnic pavilion, it is for day use only and its only facilities are a few picnic tables and a parking area. (Full article...)

    Upper Pine Bottom State Park was a Bureau of Forests picnic area until its 1962 transfer to the Bureau of State Parks.

    Upper Pine Bottom State Park is a 5-acre (2.0 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is in Cummings Township on Pennsylvania Route 44 and is surrounded by the Tiadaghton State Forest. It is on Upper Pine Bottom Run, which gave the park its name and is a tributary of Pine Creek. Upper Pine Bottom State Park is in the Pine Creek Gorge, where the streams have cut through five major rock formations from the Devonian and Carboniferous periods.

    The earliest recorded inhabitants of the area were the Susquehannocks, followed by the Iroquois, Lenape, and Shawnee. Upper Pine Bottom Run was the site of a furnace for pig iron in 1814, the first sawmill was built on it in 1815, and in 1825 an earlier bridle path across its headwaters became a turnpike. The lumber industry led to the clearcutting of the area in the 19th century. The state forest was started in 1898 and the park was formed from it by 1923 as a Class B public camp. The Civilian Conservation Corps had a camp on the run and improved the park in the 1930s, but it was not transferred to the Bureau of State Parks until 1962. Though it began as a public campsite and once had a picnic pavilion, it is for day use only and its only facilities are a few picnic tables and a parking area. (Full article...)
  • Image 12 Cast of a rock relief of Sennacherib from the foot of Mount Judi, near Cizre Sennacherib (Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: Sîn-ahhī-erība or Sîn-aḥḥē-erība, meaning "Sîn has replaced the brothers") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the death of his father Sargon II in 705 BC to his own death in 681 BC. The second king of the Sargonid dynasty, Sennacherib is one of the most famous Assyrian kings for the role he plays in the Hebrew Bible, which describes his campaign in the Levant. Other events of his reign include his destruction of the city of Babylon in 689 BC and his renovation and expansion of the last great Assyrian capital, Nineveh. (Full article...)

    Assyrian kings for the role he plays in the Hebrew Bible, which describes his campaign in the Levant. Other events of his reign include his destruction of the city of Babylon in 689 BC and his renovation and expansion of the last great Assyrian capital, Nineveh. (Full article...
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  • Image 13 William Speirs Bruce FRSE (1 August 1867 – 28 October 1921) was a British naturalist, polar scientist and oceanographer who organised and led the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (SNAE, 1902–04) to the South Orkney Islands and the Weddell Sea. Among other achievements, the expedition established the first permanent weather station in Antarctica. Bruce later founded the Scottish Oceanographical Laboratory in Edinburgh, but his plans for a transcontinental Antarctic march via the South Pole were abandoned because of lack of public and financial support. In 1892 Bruce gave up his medical studies at the University of Edinburgh and joined the Dundee Whaling Expedition to Antarctica as a scientific assistant. This was followed by Arctic voyages to Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. In 1899 Bruce, by then Britain's most experienced polar scientist, applied for a post on Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition, but delays over this appointment and clashes with Royal Geographical Society (RGS) president Sir Clements Markham led him instead to organise his own expedition, and earned him the permanent enmity of the geographical establishment in London. Although Bruce received various awards for his polar work, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen, neither he nor any of his SNAE colleagues were recommended by the RGS for the prestigious Polar Medal. (Full article...)
    Franz Josef Land. In 1899 Bruce, by then Britain's most experienced polar scientist, applied for a post on Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition, but delays over this appointment and clashes with Royal Geographical Society (RGS) president Sir Clements Markham led him instead to organise his own expedition, and earned him the permanent enmity of the geographical establishment in London. Although Bruce received various awards for his polar work, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen, neither he nor any of his SNAE colleagues were recommended by the RGS for the prestigious Polar Medal. (Full article...
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  • Image 14 First Marshalsea Prison, 18th century The Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, just south of the River Thames. Although it housed a variety of prisoners—including men accused of crimes at sea and political figures charged with sedition—it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London's debtors. Over half of England's prisoners in the 18th century were in jail because of debt. Run privately for profit, as were all English prisons until the 19th century, the Marshalsea looked like an Oxbridge college and functioned as an extortion racket. Debtors in the 18th century who could afford the prison fees had access to a bar, shop and restaurant, and retained the crucial privilege of being allowed out during the day, which gave them a chance to earn money for their creditors. Everyone else was crammed into one of nine small rooms with dozens of others, possibly for years for the most modest of debts, which increased as unpaid prison fees accumulated. The poorest faced starvation and, if they crossed the jailers, torture with skullcaps and thumbscrews. A parliamentary committee reported in 1729 that 300 inmates had starved to death within a three-month period, and that eight to ten were dying every 24 hours in the warmer weather. (Full article...)

    engraving
    First Marshalsea Prison, 18th century

    The Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, just south of the River Thames. Although it housed a variety of prisoners—including men accused of crimes at sea and political figures charged with sedition—it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London's debtors. Over half of England's prisoners in the 18th century were in jail because of debt.

    Run privately for profit, as were all English prisons until the 19th century, the Marshalsea looked like an Oxbridge college and functioned as an extortion racket. Debtors in the 18th century who could afford the prison fees had access to a bar, shop and restaurant, and retained the crucial privilege of being allowed out during the day, which gave them a chance to earn money for their creditors. Everyone else was crammed into one of nine small rooms with dozens of others, possibly for years for the most modest of debts, which increased as unpaid prison fees accumulated. The poorest faced starvation and, if they crossed the jailers, torture with skullcaps and thumbscrews. A parliamentary committee reported in 1729 that 300 inmates had starved to death within a three-month period, and that eight to ten were dying every 24 hours in the warmer weather. (Full article...)
  • Image 15 Map showing Morrell's reported location of the "New South Greenland" coast (1823, red line), and "Ross's Appearance" as reported by Sir James Clark Ross in 1841. The dotted line indicates the area of Captain Johnson's 1821 voyage. New South Greenland, sometimes known as Morrell's Land, was an appearance of land recorded by the American captain Benjamin Morrell of the schooner Wasp in March 1823, during a sealing and exploration voyage in the Weddell Sea area of Antarctica. Morrell provided precise coordinates and a description of a coastline which he claimed to have sailed along for more than 300 miles (500 km). Because the Weddell Sea area was so little visited and hard to navigate due to ice conditions, the alleged land was never properly investigated before its existence was emphatically disproven during Antarctic expeditions in the early 20th century. At the time of Morrell's voyage, the geography of the then unnamed Weddell Sea and its surrounding coasts was almost entirely unknown, making the claimed sighting initially plausible. However, obvious errors in Morrell's voyage account and his general reputation as a fabulist created scepticism about the existence of this new land. In June 1912 the German explorer Wilhelm Filchner searched for but found no traces of land after his ship Deutschland became icebound in the Weddell Sea and drifted into the locality of Morrell's observation. A line sounding of the sea bottom revealed more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of water, indicating no land in near proximity. Three years later, trapped in the same waters with his ship Endurance, Ernest Shackleton was able by similar means to confirm the land's implausibility. (Full article...)
    line sounding of the sea bottom revealed more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of water, indicating no land in near proximity. Three years later, trapped in the same waters with his ship Endurance, Ernest Shackleton was able by similar means to confirm the land's implausibility. (Full article...
    )

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Nansen in 1890

Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (Norwegian: [ˈfrɪ̂tːjɔf ˈnɑ̀nsn̩]; 10 October 1861 – 13 May 1930) was a Norwegian polymath and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He gained prominence at various points in his life as an explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and co-founded the Fatherland League.

He led the team that made the first crossing of the
cross-country skis. He won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his Fram expedition of 1893–1896. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. He was elected an International Member of the American Philosophical Society in 1897. (Full article...
)

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