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A first edition copy of one of the most significant maps in the history of science has been re-discovered in time for an important anniversary. William Smith’s 1815 depiction of the geology of England, Wales and part of Scotland is a seminal piece of work.
The first map of its kind produced anywhere in the world, only about 70 copies are thought to exist today. Now, The Geological Society has turned up another in its own archives, ready to celebrate the map’s bicentenary.
Tucked away in a leather sleeve case, the mislaid artefact was last seen roughly 40 or 50 years ago. “It just wasn’t where people expected it to be,” said John Henry, the chairman of The Geological Society’s History of Geology Group. “I guess the person who put it away knew where it was, but then they left and that was it – it became lost,” he told BBC News. Via William Smith: Seminal geology map re-discovered.