South Central China and Tibet: Hotspot of Diversity
Map and Gazetteer
Joseph Rock traced his travels for the Arboretum’s 1924-1927 expedition in a colorful, hand-drawn map entitled “Ch’ing-Hai upper Yellow River expedition.” The pen-and-ink drawing was made on ten sheets that when joined form a single, irregularly-shaped map, approximately six by eight feet in size. The individual sheets are numbered, using roman numerals; on sheet VII is a second title, “Choni Territory, Upper and Lower T’ieh-Pu country and route to Sung-Pan, J. F. Rock, 1925-1927.” Topographical and other features are identified using a combination of English, Chinese characters, Wade-Giles transliterations and Tibetan script. Rock’s attractive cursive style and use of hachures, spot heights, and landform drawings to depict relief add character to the map.
Rock’s maps are available individually also.
A handwritten key entitled “Index to Rock’s Map of Kansu and Tibet” accompanied Rock’s map. This index, not in Rock’s hand, identifies place names and cites the map sections in which they appear. B. Armstrong Clayton of the Division of Orientalia at the Library of Congress, may have prepared the index; he prepared the index and gazetteer for Rock’s redrafted maps published in The Ancient Na-khi Kingdom of Southwest China.
A gazetteer that references the map and the index is now available as a searchable database. It contains data fields that include Rock’s map grid numbers and his place names, with Wade-Giles, Pinyin, Modern Chinese, and Tibetan equivalents when available, as well as latitude and longitude, geographic site type, and province (historic and modern). The data for this gazetter was gathered by Gray Tuttle.