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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

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Karstologia, 2006, Vol 48, p. 51-58
Grottes et karsts d’Europe centrale dans les Encyclopédies françaises du XVIIIe siècle
Abstract:
Central European caves and karsts in French Encyclopaedias of xviiith century - The xviiith century, and especially the second half, was a time of great progress in natural history and, more particularly, in the knowledge of caves, and this interest for caves appeared in several Encyclopaedias published in that time. At the very end of xviith century, several dictionaries of History or Geography [Baudrand, Moreri] were printed in France. Their aim was to give a wide panorama of the whole human knowledge. After 1750, D. Diderot and J. d’Alembert began the publishing of the great Encyclopaedia, or « reasoned dictionary of sciences, arts and technology » [1751-1765]. More than just a dictionary, this major opus of the Enlightenments purposed to criticize all the old knowledges, with the intention of rebuilding by the reason a new understanding of the world. As it was considered disrespectful towards church, Jesuits published another Encyclopaedia, the « Dictionnaire de Trévoux ». Then, at the end of xviiith century, Panckoucke published the huge « Methodical Encyclopaedia », with three volumes for « modern Geography » and five for « physical Geography ». So, dozens and dozens of caves all over the world were described in these dictionaries and Encyclopaedias, and here we’ll try to expose what is about central Europe. The articles about regional geography (Istria, Alps) were often reduced to historical relations or to very poor lists of geographical names. Before the publishing of the last Encyclopaedia of the century, travellers’ relations seemed unknown by the authors of the dictionaries. The methodical Encyclopaedia showed a clear progress with, for instance, two articles about Croatia: the article « river Cettina » described several phenomena of karstic hydrology; or the article « Biocova » dealt with the ice-caves of the Mont-Mossor. It seems that Dictionaries and encyclopaedias had better information about caves of France or Germany where fossilized bones had been discovered. Some caves of the Mediterranean countries were also well known, because of the mythological or biblical traditions; numerous references to Timavo spring were based only on ancient roman geographers. But what about the caves of central Europe? The cave of Retelstein in Styria and the cave of Ribar (Hungary) were described in the great Encyclopaedia, and the article « Cave » gave a long list in which we find a short mention of the caves of Postojna and Podpec (Slovenia). But the longest articles were about Cirknitz Lake: all the dictionaries gave a large place to this famous place « for hunting, fishing and ploughing », as repeated Moreri or Baudrand who looked at this phenomenon as a wonder. In the great Encyclopaedia, the description was much more accurate and tried to explain the working of the lake in the surroundings: the sink holes and the resurgences were well identified. These accurate descriptions of Cirknitz Lake stand in strong contrast with the short mentions of Postojna, which is still supposed to be « two milles » long… As to Recca of San Canzian, this place never appeared in French dictionaries and Encyclopaedias of the xviiith century: Skocjan seemed completely unknown… But these various spots were described without any connection among them. If the authors of the Encyclopaedias wanted to break definitively with all the superstitions from old ages, they were not yet able to understand the meaning of what we call « karstic landscapes ». On this point, the age of Enlightenments appears as a time of transition. Now, articles about Carniole (former name for main part of Slovenia) show an interesting evolution of the authors’ points of view. Masson de Morvilliers in the « Methodical Encyclopaedia » (modern Geography) explained that this country « contains many noteworthy caves ». And in the volume v of physical Geography [1828], the article about Zirknitz Lake ended with this interesting remark: « The whole range of surrounding mountains is composed with porous limestone in « which rain and snow-melting waters enter (…) The whole country, from north borders of Carniola to the shores of Adriatic Sea, and from the caves of Planina to the Timavo Springs, is full with streams suddenly issued from the ground and pointing out a subterranean current, which is logically to link with the working of Zirknitz Lake. » So, with the help of these Encyclopaedias, we may have a good survey of the erudite geography of Karst in xviiith century and we can understand the basis on which the knowledge would get positive progress during the xixth one.