[Presentation of Various Soils and Types of Rocks] اراض و صنوف مختلفه صخورك جدول عهق ملس
1900 (undated) 22.75 x 17.25 in (57.785 x 43.815 cm)
A striking and extraordinarily rare Ottoman geological scientific broadside, printed in Istanbul around the turn of the 19th century, focusing on the relatively new disciplines of geology and paleontology. The unassuming title (translating to Presentation of Various Soils and Types of Rocks) belies what appears to be a summary of 19th century advances in the earth sciences. At bottom, a stylized cross-section of the Earth shows the planet's molten core and the effects of its pressure on the planet's crust: volcanoes, aquifers, and the development of different strata of rock. The bulk of the diagram appears to correspond to the cut-away, correlating different strata with different periods of geological time. The accompanying images of fossil plants and animals (among them an ammonite, a trilobite, a plesiosaur and an ichthyosaur) relate to the knowledge that certain fossils could be reliably found at strata whose age could be reasonably accurately calculated.
Culture in ConflictThe author of this piece is not known. It was published by a commercial printing firm which specialized in educational publications. We surmise that it was in support of a curriculum in the modern sciences. Ottoman Turkey was, at the time, engaged in efforts to modernize so a document such as this might be reflective of the country's move to absorb European, secular scientific disciplines despite their theological implications (for example, the contradiction to religious historical narratives posed by the vast time scales indicated by fossil and geological evidence.)
Publication History and CensusPublished in Istanbul around 1900. This is the only known example.
Average condition. Color lithograph on thick paper. Mended at folds with some loss and replacement of paper. Some age toning and staining.