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Evans Memorial Lecture: From Burchard to Burckhardt – Views of Jordan

6pm, Thursday 9th December 2010

Stevenson Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, The British Museum, London WC1

A lecture by John Bartlett, Trinity College Dublin and Chairman of the Palestine Exploration Fund

Followed by wine

 Abstract

Burchard was a late thirteenth-century German Dominican monk who wrote a Description of the Holy Land based on his personal experience there; J.L. Burckhardt was an early nineteenth-century Arabist who travelled widely in Transjordan, Arabia and Egypt, and is famous for representing the ancient city of Petra to the European world in his Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (1822). Between them lies a long and dedicated series of people who as pilgrims like Breitenbach, or as biblical and Reformation scholars like Cranach, Ziegler and Sebastian Munster, or as professional mapmakers like Mercator, Ortelius, Blaeu and John Speed, or as wealthy travellers like Pococke, or as serious academic explorers like Niebuhr and Seetzen, slowly developed European knowledge of the lands east of the Jordan valley, the Dead Sea and the Wadi Arabah. The maps they created are all works of scholarship and a tribute to the growing skills of printers and publishers, and often in addition works of art in their own right. This lecture will present the story of the cartography of Transjordan from Burchard to Burckhardt. 

Above Image: 'Ptolemy, 'Quart Asiae Pars' (Rome 1490) (from the board of Trinity College Dublin). Published in Mapping Jordan through Two Millennia (PEF Annual X, 2009), by John Bartlett.

 

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