A map of Jerusalem that was drafted some 190 years ago by a German tourist was recently unearthed by two researchers – one Israeli, the other German – in an archive in Berlin. The map, sketched by hand in 1823, was discovered in the course of a study conducted in tandem by Israeli researchers and scholars at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, in Leipzig, Germany.
The study, funded by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, is intended to conduct a profound reappraisal of the cartography of 19th-century Palestine between the years 1830-1880.
The rediscovered map is highly significant. “It was sketched by hand by a German tourist named Westphal, who arrived in Jerusalem for a visit in 1823,” Prof. Chaim Goren, a historical geographer at the Tel Hai Academic College, told Haaretz. Goren is conducting the study together with Prof. Rehav Rubin of the Hebrew University and scholars from the German institute, including Dr. Bruno Schelhaas.
“We know that additional maps were subsequently drafted on the basis of this one and that numerous research studies of the history of Jerusalem, conducted by scholars all over the world, relied on them,” explains Goren.
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