"Max von Oppenheim (1860-1946) was a self-taught archeologist. As the scion of the Jewish banking dynasty Salomon Oppenheim (his mother was from a patrician family in Cologne), Oppenheim grew up in the ostentatious world of the Belle Epoque. Indeed, his parents' estate near Bonn resembled an enchanted castle.
Max showed little interest in the law, the profession his father had chosen for him. Instead, he was drawn to the Orient.
In 1886, he traveled through Morocco, where conditions were practically medieval at the time. Wearing a disguise, he entered a mosque in Fez, despite the threat of being put to death if discovered. Later, he bought a Berber girl at a slave auction and was served the pickled heads of the local clan's enemies in a remote village.
His subsequent journeys took him as far as Iraq. In 1896, Oppenheim moved to Cairo, where he lived in a villa surrounded by palm trees, together with his gardener, Soliman, six servants and a French chef.
Oppenheim, who spoke fluent Arabic by now, stayed in tents with sheiks and, wearing turbans and robes, chatted with Druze princes." More