The Origins of Java in Four Maps: From an Island of Ruins to Youthful Throes
This chapter examines four geological maps of Java and the contexts of their production to explore how geological narratives of Java have changed since the late nineteenth century. The chapter traces how these maps represented Javanese volcanism and were tied to shifting scientific narratives of the earth's history. The chapter shows that geologists transformed their vision of Java as an island of natural and cultural antiquities in which volcanoes were the ruins of once great mountains, to a vision of Java as a young island in the violent throes of youthful earth building. Adopting and adapting ideas of continental drift before many other geologists around the world were key to this transformation. Combining oceanography with terrestrial geology was crucial to this new view that set the stage for the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the 1970s. The maps examined are turning points in this new earth history.