STRATA: William Smith’s Geological Maps

Author(s): Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Contribution by); Robert Macfarlane (Foreword by)


This comprehensive evaluation showcases Smith's 1815 hand-coloured map, A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland, displayed in its original 15 sheets with explanatory colour key. The introduction traces Smith's early career as a surveyor and engineer, and clarifies his purpose in creating the geological map, including its use in industry, agriculture and the arts. The main part of the book is organized into four geographical sections, each beginning with four sheets from the 1815 map, accompanied by related geological cross sections and county maps (1819-24), and followed by sections of Sowerby's fossil illustrations, organized by strata (1816-19). Interleaved between the map and fossil sections are four essays by leading academics that each focus on the people and industries that benefited from the knowledge imparted by Smith's work during the period of the industrial revolution: the miners searching for minerals and coal, the builders needing freestone, limestone and brick-earth, the farmers seeking fossil manures and the colourmen creating pigments. The book concludes with a reflection on Smith's later work as an itinerant geologist and surveyor, his receipt of the first Wollaston Medal in 1831, and the influence of his geological mapping and biostratigraphical theories on the sciences, culminating in the establishment of the modern geological timescale.

Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780500252475
  • : Thames & Hudson, Limited
  • : Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • : 0.3
  • : November 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Contribution by); Robert Macfarlane (Foreword by)
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 256