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Where Swedish polar research began: the Linnaean apostle Anton Rolandson Martin’s voyage to Spitsbergen in 1758
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1843-0733
2018 (English)In: Polar Record, ISSN 0032-2474, E-ISSN 1475-3057, Vol. 54, p. 36-42Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 1758 the renowned Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus sent his student Anton Rolandson Martin to the Arctic on-board a whaler to collect scientific specimens. He became the first Swedish scientist to sail these northern waters and to set foot on Spitsbergen. But what route did the ship take and where exactly did he land? By using a combination of geographical information in Martin’s diary together with latitude and wind directions from his meteorological records the ship’s voyage has been reconstructed. The whaler set course directly to the west coast of Spitsbergen and then patrolled waters from there to the eastern flank of the ice fields off Greenland. The ship then returned to Spitsbergen as the whaling season drew to an end. Martin got the chance to set foot on land only once and for just two hours. After recent field work at the presumed locality 258 years after Martin’s visit, his descriptions of the islets were checked and a first-hand comparison was made between the rock sample Martin brought home and the local bedrock. The author is now confident that the landing took place on Forlandsøyane islands, situated off the southwestern coast of Prins Karls Forland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. Vol. 54, p. 36-42
Keywords [en]
Svalbard, Spitsbergen, apostle, Linnaeus, whaler, 1758, Rolandsson, Martin, explorer, Arctic
National Category
History
Research subject
Man and the environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2885DOI: 10.1017/S0032247418000086OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2885DiVA, id: diva2:1257189
Available from: 2018-10-19 Created: 2018-10-19 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved

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Output format
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