Crawford House Publishing
Mastamak The Land Surveyors of Papua New Guinea

Mastamak is the remarkable story of the land surveyors of Papua New Guinea, from the late 19th century to independence in 1975. Primarily a historical rather than a technical account, it emphasises the work of individual surveyors and their teams, whose fieldwork was carried out under some of the most extreme circumstances imaginable.

From the voyages of the early navigators, who surveyed and charted the coastline, to the emergence of highly trained nationals who are carrying their profession into the future, Mastamak is a detailed and readable account of surveying in PNG.

The book covers the partition, and border surveys, of New Guinea by the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain, and discusses the work of surveyors in the German and British territories. The great surveyor-explorers are all mentioned, including Sir William MacGregor, John Brewer Cameron, Harry Eve and Jackson Fryer, to name but a few.

Government surveyors receive ample mention, as do their private-sector counterparts. The search for mineral wealth - oil, gold, copper - led to some of the greatest surveying feats in PNG, and is covered in a number of major chapters. Relatively brief mention is also made of hydrographic surveying, and of aerial survey work and map-making.

Although Mastamak will naturally appeal to professional surveyors, it will also prove to be compelling reading for all who have lived and worked in PNG, or who have an interest in that fascinating land.


James Sinclair


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275 black-and-white photographs and maps


Portrait; hardcover; xii + 380 pages


288 x 213 mm



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