World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt

Jean Louis Burckhardt
Born (1784-11-24)November 24, 1784
Lausanne, Vaud
Died October 15, 1817(1817-10-15) (aged 32)
Cairo, Egypt Eyalet
Nationality Swiss
Occupation traveler, geographer, orientalist

Jean Louis (also known as John Lewis, Johann Ludwig) Burckhardt (November 24, 1784 – October 15, 1817) was a Swiss traveller, geographer, and orientalist. He wrote his letters in French and signed Louis. He is best known for rediscovering the ruins of the city of Petra in Jordan.


  • Biography 1
    • Youth and early travels 1.1
    • Discoveries and death 1.2
      • Discovery of Hittite or Anatolian hieroglyphs 1.2.1
  • Publications 2
  • References 3
  • Sources 4
  • External links 5


Youth and early travels

Burckhardt briefly studied Arabic at the University of Cambridge.[1]

Discoveries and death

After enduring privations and sufferings of the severest kind, he returned to Cairo in June 1815 in a state of great exhaustion; but in the spring of 1816 he travelled to Mount Sinai, returned to Cairo in June, and there again made preparations for his intended journey to Fezzan. Several hindrances prevented his pursuing this intention, and finally, in April 1817, when the long-expected caravan prepared to depart, he was seized by dysentery.[2]

Discovery of Hittite or Anatolian hieroglyphs

In early 19th century, Burckhardt was the first to discover Hittite or Luwian hieroglyphic script at Hama in Syria.[3]


His works were posthumously published by the African Association in the following order:

  • Travels in Nubia (to which is prefixed a biographical memoir) (1819)
  • Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (1822)
  • Travels in Arabia (1829)
  • Arabic Proverbs, or the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1830)
  • Notes on the Bedouins and Wahabys (1831).


  1. ^
  2. ^ New International Encyclopedia
  3. ^ The Decipherment of Hittite James Norman (Schmidt), Ancestral Voices: Decoding Ancient Languages, Four Winds Press, New York, 1975.


  • Paul Lunde, “The Lure of Mecca,” Saudi Aramco World, November/December 1974, pp. 14–21.
  • "The Blue Nile", Alan Moorehead, Harper and Row, 1962.

External links

  • Works by John Lewis Burckhardt at Project Gutenberg
  • %4A%6F%68%6E+%4C%65%77%69%73"+%4F%52+"%4A%65%61%6E+%4C%6F%75%69%73"+%4F%52+"%31%37%38%34-%31%38%31%37")+%41%4E%44+-%63%72%65%61%74%6F%72:(%4A%61%63%6F%62+%4F%52+%4B%61%72%6C)+) Works by or about Johann Ludwig Burckhardt at Internet Archive
  • Travels in Arabia from 1892, featuring Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.