In 1845, Roderick Murchison, Edouard de Verneuil and Alexander von Keyserling published The Geology of Russia in Europe and the Ural Mountains, reporting on the results of two field seasons in Russia (1840 and 1841) as well as additional fieldwork in Poland (1843) and Scandinavia (1844 and 1845). The book contains 7 plates comprising 5 cross-sections and 2 geologic maps. Plate 6 is a geologic map titled “Russia in Europe and the Ural Mountains …” and it is the subject of this paper. Murchison had 600 copies of the large format (quarto) book printed by John Murray in the laborious hand-press manner. He also had the 68 x 84 cm map produced as a copper engraving with water color washes. Plate 6 has been described as “the finest hand coloured map ever produced”. The map was drawn and engraved by John Arrowsmith from a sketch map begun in 1840, expanded after the 1841 field season, and further modified by incorporating work of other geologists, including Keilhau, Hisinger, Zejszner, Boué, Dubois de Montpereux, Hamilton, Ainsworth, and Helmersen. All of these geologists were meticulously acknowledged by Murchison in The Geology of Russia. In addition to the map, Plate 6 contains a stratigraphic column with key locations and characteristic fossils, and a cross-section extending from St. Petersburg to the Sea of Azof. Thus, Plate 6 represents a synthesis of much of what was known in 1845 of the geology of Russia and surrounding territories, clearly demonstrating Murchison’s ‘genius of combination’. Murchison revised the map several times, resulting in 4 ‘states’ of the map.
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