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John Lewis Burckhardt (1784-1817) was a Swiss explorer who is best remembered for his rediscovery of the ancient city of Petra in modern Jordan. In 1809 he was commissioned by the African Association to discover the source of the River Niger. In preparation for this journey, for which he needed to pass as a Muslim, Burckhardt spent two years exploring and studying Arabic and Islamic law in Aleppo, before travelling widely in Arabia and Egypt. This book provides 'a view of Arabian life and manners in every degree, from the Bedouin camp to the populous city', but the most striking passages describe the ruins of Petra, and especially its sumptuously carved Nabataean tombs. Burckhardt also records his frustration at not being able to explore freely and make notes, but these activities would have laid him open to suspicion of being a spy or an infidel, and almost certain death.
Table of Contents
Journal of a tour from Damascus, in the countries of the Libanus and Anti-Libanus
Journal of an excursion into the Haouran, in the autumn and winter of 1810
Journal of a tour from Aleppo to Damascus, through the valley of the Orontes and Mount Libanus, in February and March, 1812
Journal of a tour from Damascus into the Haouran, and the mountains to the E. and S. E. of the Lake of Tiberias, in the months of April and May, 1812
Description of a journey from Damascus through the mountains of Arabia Petraea and Desert el Ty, to Cairo, in the summer of 1812
Journal of a tour in the peninsula of Mount Sinai, in the spring of 1816
An account of the Ryhanlu Turkmans
On the political division of Syria, and the recent changes in the government of Aleppo
The Hadj route from Damascus to Mekka
Description of the route from Boszra in the Haouran, to Djebel Shammor
A route to the eastward of the Castle El Hassa
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