Discovering Lost Landscapes – William Smith Geology Map

In 1815 William Smith produced ‘the map that changed the world’ – the first geological map of Great Britain. Years of surveying were behind the incredible detail of this pioneering map, as well as Smith’s theory of stratigraphy that matched areas of non-continuous geology through fossils assemblages. Emma Hancox, Sam Wilson and John France explain more:

This summer, as part of the Lost Landscapes project, we are exhibiting a copy of the first geology map of Great Britain, produced in 1815 by William Smith. A private donor is kindly lending us his copy of this rare map for the Ice Age exhibition in the Art Gallery and Museum. We also have a giant print of the map in The Hive as part of the Origins of Us exhibition.

Known as “the map that changed the world”, the giant print forms the centre-piece of Origins of Us. This exhibition explores how we came to understand our human story.  Set against the back drop of Darwin’s Origin of Species and the emergence of our understanding of the antiquity of the earth, the story of how 19th century scholars and collectors came to revelations about the age of the rocks, fossils and human-made artefacts around us, which spoke of distant aeons, is the story of how we understand what it means to be human. […]

Excerpt of Smith's 1815 geology map
A section of William Smith’s map showing Worcestershire/Warwickshire

Read more at Discovering Lost Landscapes – The William Smith Geology Map


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