Squeezes, Fleas and “a beautiful clay head of Egyptian style”: Julius Euting in Petra (March 7-23, 1898)

Regine Hunziker-Rodewald


Julius Euting (1839-1913), librarian at the University Library in Tübingen and later at the National and University Library in Strasbourg, where he rose to the position of director, was a polymath academic in Oriental Studies, Semitic Epigraphy, and Paleography. From 1883 Euting conducted several study tours to Central Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Transjordan. He collected his valuable observations in 26 illustrated travel journals and 10 sketchbooks with drawings and watercolors. In this article, we focus on Euting’s stay in Petra from March 7-23 1898 as a member of the survey team Brünnow & Domaszewski who mapped in 1897-1898 the ruins of the Provincia Arabia. By crisscrossing the mountains and wadis in search of inscriptions, Euting took squeezes of 140 epigraphs and recorded monuments, facades, altar niches, and a few objects. One of the artifacts, the fragment of a figurine’s head found in Petra and now kept in the Fonds Julius Euting of the National and University Library in Strasbourg, will be presented in this article by comparison with similar ceramic figurines in order to reenact the cognitive process embodied in the performative affordances of these objects


Nabataean figurine, enaction, cultural amalgam

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