Sven Hedin Biography
(Swedish Geographer, Topographer and Explorer Who Published Books About His Travels All Over Asia and the Middle East)
Birthday: February 19, 1865 (Pisces)
Born In: Stockholm, Sweden
Sven Hedin was a Swedish explorer, geographer and travel writer known for his expeditions to Central Asia that led to important archaeological and geographical findings. He not only located sources of the Brahmaputra, Indus and Sutlej Rivers during his series of expeditions, but also mapped the remains of cities, grave sites and the Great Wall of China in the deserts of the Tarim Basin. Interested in travelling from a young age, he was greatly motivated when as a teenager he witnessed the triumphant return of the Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld after his first navigation of the Northern Sea Route. He resolved to become an explorer himself and received training under the German geographer and China expert, Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen. Beginning from the late 19th century, he embarked on several major expeditions to Central Asia. His travel notes and scientific documentation of his travels enriched the Western knowledge about the nations in Central Asia. He gained a reputation as an expert on Turkestan and Tibet, and along with the likes of Sir Francis Younghusband and Sir Aurel Stein, Hedin was an active player in the British-Russian struggle for influence in Central Asia. He never married nor had children. At the time of his death he granted the rights of his books and his extensive personal effects to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.