Chapter

Musil’s Fairy-Tale Castle

Garth Fowden

in Qusayr 'Amra

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236653
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929609 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520236653.003.0001
Musil’s Fairy-Tale Castle

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Quṣayr 'Amra means the little castle of 'Amra. Due to a year of exceptional heat and drought, Dr. Alois Musil realized that a systematic investigation of Quṣayr 'Amra would have to be postponed. His narrative has few if any rivals among accounts of the rediscovery of an ancient site. The ride to Quṣayr 'Amra was an anxious one, full of bad omens and fear of enemies and the lurking spirits of the desert. In this chapter, the facsimiles and photographs of Quṣayr 'Amra's frescoes are reported. The interpretation of these frescoes is also evaluated. In the three decades that have gone by since the Spanish restoration, Quṣayr 'Amra itself has become more accessible, while the knowledge of human activity in the wider region, and at every period of history, has broadened, thanks to archaeological excavations and surveys conducted at leisure and in secure conditions unimaginable to Musil and other pioneers.

Keywords: Quṣayr 'Amra; Dr. Alois Musil; frescoes; facsimiles; photographs

Chapter.  12012 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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