Education About Asia: Online Archives

Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya

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UNIVERSITY PRESS OF KENTUCKY, 2006

228 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0813123882, HARDBACK

Reviewed by Kelly McKee

The Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya brings an instant sense of connectedness to the remote land and peoples of the Himalaya. The photographs imply the rich cultural diversity of the population, as well as the geographic complexity of the land. The readers’ eyes follow a myriad of maps, charts, and calculated data dispersed throughout the book while gaining a deeper sense of appreciation for the way of life of the inhabitants living within the highest altitudes of the world.

This book is an exceptional resource for geography and world history teachers. Zurich and Pacheco provide an abundance of material high school students will find engaging and quite remarkable. For teachers of world history or Asian studies, the text serves as an excellent visual guide to introduce the land and people of the Himalaya. This global region is often omitted from world history texts and state-based curriculum, therefore locating teaching materials on the Himalaya continues to be a challenging task. However, the Illustrated Atlas offers so much information that geography teachers could utilize the text to teach the five themes of geography. All five themes are visible and well documented throughout the book: location, place, human movement/interaction, movement, and regions. This text also offers educators access to countless charts, maps, and graphs to integrate into classroom activities providing opportunities for their students to enhance critical literacy skills.

Visual charts and maps are easy to read and comprehend, and they provide a generous amount of detailed information and statistics. Interpreting and analyzing maps and charts in this text allow students to develop an understanding of the relationship between the people and the land. Sustainability of the land and its resources is critical for the survival of the Himalayan people.

The final chapter on Exploration and Travel is a bonus for world history and Asian studies teachers. This chapter presents over forty pages on the history of exploration of the Himalaya, including maps referring to ancient pilgrimages and sacred exploration. Early foreign and British exploration is also well documented. The travels of Alexander the Great, Hsuan Tsang, and Marco Polo are illustrated to identify locations of each journey. The chapter ends with a notable historical overview of mountain climbers. Ascent maps of peaks over 8,000 meters are included in the chapter to depict the route of the first ascent of each peak.

This publication is a precious gem for world history, geography, and Asian Studies teachers. It is a unique resource offering an abundance of valuable information to help educators bring this remote region of the world into their classrooms.

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