|During a 42 year period (18931935), the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin led
and co-ordinated four expeditions to remote and inhospitable parts of Central Asia (Tibet,
Xinjang, Pamir). Along with collaborators he collected a diverse collection of just under
3100 petrological specimens. Petrographic examples of high pressure metamorphic
blueschists, mantle peridotites and serpentinites, granitoids, K-rich alkaline lavas,
mylonites,and a range of clastic and fossil rich carbonate sedimentary rocks are present.
A spreadsheet listing all the samples collected during Hedins first three
expeditions into Tibet (commencing 1893, 1899, 1906) includes a brief sample description
with additional information on the availability of thin sections. Samples are
cross-referenced with the geographical position of Hedins campsites indicated on
maps published with his extensive reports. Most samples, and a number of thin sections,
are available for loan.
Click here to download the spreadsheet file (Excel format) Download file
The Hedin petrological collections and the spreadsheet is deacribed in some detail in the article:
Weinberg,F. W. and Green, O. R. (2002) The Central Asiatic (Tibet, Xinjang, Pamir) petrological collections of Sven Hedin (18651952) Swedish explorer and adventurer. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 20 (2002) p. 297-308.
pictured as a Mongolian pilgrim in camp approximately 100 years ago.
From the photocollection, NRM
|The Swedish explorer and geographer Sven Anders Hedin (1865-1952) transected
Central Asia during several major trips and expeditions. His first major expedition in
1893-1897 was also his third trip to Asia. During this expedition he attempted to climb
Mt. Mustagh Ata (7500 m above the sea level), nearly died crossing western Taklamakan
Desert, discovered ancient desert settlements, studied the region around the
"wandering lake," Lop Nor, and crossed northern Tibet, arriving in Beijing in
March 1897. He published a popular two-volume book, Through Asia, and a volume of
During his second major expedition to Asia 1899-1902 he continued his studies of the Lop Nor area, explored and mapped in Tibet, but was prevented from reaching Lhasa. On return he was ennobled by King Oscar II, the last Swede to be so honored. He published results of his travels in the book (2 volumes) Central Asia and Tibet and in several volumes of scientific results.
|In 1906-1908 he crossed Iran (then Persia) to India and from there entered
Tibet despite British opposition. He made detailed observations of SW Tibet and
controversial claims to have discovered a previously unknown Transhimalaya range and the
sources of the major Indian rivers. Results of the expedition were published in a popular
3-volume account, Transhimalaya, and a decade later a 9-volume collection of scientific
His last major expedition, 1926-1935, involved substantial German and Chinese participation and scientific studies across a variety of disciplines. He spent significant time in Mongolia and en route to the Tarim Basin, was held captive by the forces of the rebellious Dungan warlord General Ma, and studied the historic shift of Lake Lop Nor back into its former location. While the expedition was still underway he wrote several popular books on it and then launched publication of the scientific results, which appeared in 54 volumes down into the 1980s.
The route of Hedins three first major
Map reproduced with permission of the publisher Bra Böcker, AB Höganäs
THE MOUNTAIN MUSTAGH-ATA FROM
From Hedin´s "Southern
Tibet 1906-1908" Vol. IX, Stockholm 1922.
From Hedin´s "Transhimalaya". Views from different
campsites illustrated by Sven Hedin during his expedition 1906-1908
Links to websites with more information on Sven Hedin and his expeditions:
The Sven Hedin Foundation
Information on expeditions and collections with maps, pictures and drawings.
A bibliography by the University of Seattle historian D.C.Waugh
A chronology of Hedin´s life by D.C. Waugh.
A bibliography and a selected list of his work.
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