Burckhardt, Johann Ludwig

Burckhardt, Johann Ludwig or John Lewis

(yōhän` lo͞ot`vĭkh bo͝ork`härt), 1784–1817, European explorer, b. Switzerland, educated in Germany. Supported by an English association for promoting African discovery, he visited Egypt and Syria (1809–13), rediscovered PetraPetra
, ancient city, in present-day Jordan, known to the Arabs as Wadi Musa for the stream that flows through it. A narrow, winding pass between towering walls leads to the open plain upon which stood the ancient city.
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 (1812), then, posing as a learned Muslim, he became the first Christian to reach Medina. He died while preparing to set out from Upper Egypt for his original goal, the Niger River. Included in his Travels in Arabia (1829) is a notable account of Mecca. His journals, published by the African Association, include Travels in Nubia (1819), Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (1822), Notes on the Bedouin and Wahábys (1830), and Arabic Proverbs (1830).

Bibliography

See biography by K. Sim (1969).