Sven Anders Hedin (1865-1952) was a Swedish explorer, geographer and geopolitician. Hedin was born in Stockholm. Between 1886 and 1892 he studied geology, mineralogy, zoology, and Latin in Stockholm, Uppsala, Berlin, and Halle. He was a student of Ferdinand von Richthofen. Between his graduation in 1892 and 1935 he led several expeditions to Central Asia. His achievements include the production of the first detailed maps of vast parts of Pamir, Taklamakan, Tibet, the ancient Silk Road, and the Himalayas. He seems to be the first to realise that the Himalayas are a single mountain range. Although primarily an explorer, Hedin was also the first to unearth the ruins of ancient Buddhist cities in Chinese Central Asia. In 1899 he discovered the ancient Chinese garrison town of Loulan (Lou-lan) in the Taklamakan desert. The many manuscripts he unearthed there proved to be of great historical importance.