Wilfred Thesiger in the desert

Date of Photo: March 7-14, 1948
Continent: Asia
Geographical Area: Western Asia (Middle East and Near East)
Country: United Arab Emirates
Region/Place: Abu Dhabi Emirate; Al Gharbia Region; As Saruq [As Sārūq]
Cultural Group: European English
Named Person(s): Wilfred Patrick Thesiger
Format: Film Negative 35mm
Size: 35 mm
Acquisition: Wilfred Patrick Thesiger - Accepted as Art in Lieu of Inheritance Tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Pitt Rivers Museum, March 2004


Seated portrait of Wilfred Thesiger taken during his party's journey from the As Saruq sands to Abu Dhabi near the end of his second journey across the Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali). Wilfred Thesiger crouches on the side of a sand ridge, leaning on a camel stick in his right hand and resting his other hand on his knee. He wears a headscarf, a patterned loincloth, and a long shirt (thobe). Behind him is a ridge of small bushes.

Research Notes

Research Notes - "North of Qufa lay the Saruq, an undulating plain of hard red sand and small crescent dunes." Wilfred Thesiger, pp. 40, in "A Further Journey Across the Empty Quarter", The Geographical Journal, Vol. 113, January-June 1949, pp. 21-44. [AK 25/02/2011]

Research Notes - "We left Liwa on March 7th. Abu Dhabi was still a hundred and fifty miles away, but now we had a guide. We were very tired, and were no longer sustained by the struggle to survive, so each day's march became a plodding weariness during which we were inclined to quarrel over trifles. It rained at intervals during these days, sometimes heavily." Wilfred Thesiger, pp. 243, in Arabian Sands (London, 1959). [AK 25/02/2011]