Travels In Syria, Johann Burckhardt

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (1784–1817). Disguised as an Arab and traveling under the name Ibrahim ibn Abdullah, Burckhardt, a Swiss geographer and orientalist, explored and mapped much of the Near East in the early 1800s. He was the first scholar to recognize the connection between modern Arabic place-names and ancient biblical sites.

Best remembered as the discoverer of Petra, the Nabatean desert outpost carved into red sandstone cliffs, Burckhardt paid special attention to the layout and location of the ancient cities he visited and to their Greek and Latin inscriptions. Burckhardt was the first European to draw an accurate map of the Gulf of Elath.