National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
|Hedin, Sven Anders
|Sweden / Stockholm
|Swedish geographer and explorer. Hedin became famous after a daring voyage across the Taklamakan Desert. He is extremely well-known known for proposing the “wandering lake” theory which posited that Lake Lop Nor in the Tarim Basin shifted location north and south over a cycle of 1500 years. He also discovered the ancient city of Kroraina (Loulan) on the shores of the Lake. Hedin went to the Azerbaijani city of Baku to work as a tutor at the age of 20 (1885), and set off to Persia and Mesopotamia in the following year. After serving as an interpreter for a mission to Persia in 1890, he started to explore this part of the world more extensively on his own. In 1891 and 1892, he studied Asian geography under Professor von Richthofen, before going on to make a total of five Central Asia expeditions (First expedition: 1893-97, Second expedition: 1899-1902, Third expedition: 1906-08, Fourth expedition: 1927-1933, Fifth expedition: 1934-1935.) During these expeditions he made numerous attempts to reach the holy city of Lhasa but to no avail. After the completion of his third expedition, he became very active giving many lectures in the capital cities of various countries and preparing academic reports, and for a time he did not go on any more expeditions. However, in 1927, he formed and joined an expedition team comprising researchers from Sweden, Germany, China and the Netherlands. He followed this fourth expedition immediately with a fifth expedition, which survey the area around Lop Nor, proving the theory of the lake’s cyclic movement. Many nations commended his achievements, with Britain naming him KCIE (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Emperor).
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