New release: “a public, open platform for the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME), which . . . aggregates, through an ongoing program, digital records of published materials, documents, maps, artifacts, audiovisual recordings, and more from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.”
Eric Cline will be the first speaker in the Friends of ASOR’s new webinar series. The topic is “Digging Deeper: How Archaeology Works,” and it will be held on August 9 at 8 pm Eastern. Registration and payment is required.
Though unimpressive on the outside, the pyramid of Unas at Saqqara is filled with inscriptions from the Old Kingdom period.
Here is a list of five ancient tombs that scholars would like to find; four are Egyptian and one is Alexander the Great.
According to a new study, “the Hyksos were not invaders, but rather Asiatic immigrants who settled in Egypt – specifically in the Nile Delta region – lived there for centuries and eventually managed to stage a takeover of power.” (Underlying journal article here.)
Ferrell Jenkins shares some interesting photos of storks that he has taken in Israel and Turkey.
“Ash-sharq is a new, peer reviewed journal devoted to short and long articles on the archaeology, history and society of the Ancient Near East.”
“The editors of the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR) Online talk about the content, development and relevance of EBR Online for theologians and humanities faculty (recording of a live webinar).”
**When we updated our blog design earlier this month, we accidentally broke the system that sends posts out by email. With that now fixed, we are re-posting the recent roundups, one part each day through Friday.**
The digs may have stopped, but the stories have not. With no roundups the last two weeks, I have more than 60 items of interest to share in the coming days.
We highlighted a small museum located in the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in the Holy Land. You may want to read that post first. The founder of this museum was Gustaf Dalman (1855-1941), a key figure in the development of the Institute. His collections populate most of the museum’s displays.
Dalman first visited the Holy Land for an extended time in 1899, and he lived there continuously from 1902 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Though he was able to return two more times, the war essentially brought an end to Dalman’s activity in the Holy Land, and thereafter he researched it remotely from the Institute of Palestinology in Greifswald, Germany.
In last week’s post, we mentioned the aspects of Palestinian life and the various fields of study that Dalman investigated as part of his encyclopedic research. Although some of Dalman’s writings have been translated into English, his most important work was not, at least not till now. Dalman’s magnum opus was a seven-volume work (in eight parts) entitled Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina, or Work and Customs in Palestine. An eighth volume was incomplete at the time of his death, and not until 2001 were the notes for this volume finally published. Below are the subjects covered by the eight volumes. At the very end of this post, you can view/download the detailed contents for Volume 1, Part 1. This should give a very good sense for the breadth and depth of these volumes.
Vol. 1, part 1: Course of the Year and Course of the Day: Autumn and Winter
Vol. 1, part 2: Course of the Year and Course of the Day: Spring and Summer
Vol. 2: Agriculture
Vol. 3: From Harvest to Flour: Harvesting, Threshing, Winnowing, Sieving, Storing, Milling
Vol. 4: Bread, Oil and Wine
Vol. 5: Textiles, Spinning, Weaving and Clothing
Vol. 6: Tent Life, Cattle and Dairy Farming, Hunting, FishingVol. 7: The house, Chicken Breeding, Pigeon Breeding, Beekeeping
Vol. 8: Domestic Life, Birth, Marriage and Death (it was also intended to include Singing and Music)
Dalman, Gustaf H.
1928-1942 Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina. 7 vols. Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann.
2001 Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina, Vol. 8: Fragment aus dem Nachlass. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter.
Dalman’s work is perhaps the most important window into pre-modern, agricultural/pastoral world of the Holy Land. Along with photographs like the Matson Collection, this is about as close as we today can get to seeing and experiencing daily life in Bible times. Yet, for so many of use who do not possess facility in the German tongue, Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina has remained inaccessible. That is why, a few years ago, it was exciting to find out that Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina is being translated into English. It is Nadia Abdulhadi-Sukhtian to whom we are in the debt for executing the translation. Volume 1, parts 1 and 2, were published in 2013.
Dalman, Gustaf H.
2013 Work and Customs in Palestine, Vol. 1, Parts 1 and 2: The Course of the Year and the Course of the Day. Trans. Nadia Abdulhadi-Sukhtian. Ramallah: Dar Al Nasher.
Part 1 is available here. Part 2 is available here.
While preparing this post, we discovered that Volume 2 was published just this year. We are glad to see the project is moving along.
Dalman, Gustaf. 2020 Work and Customs in Palestine, Vol. 2: Agriculture. Trans. Robert Schick. Ed. Nadia Abdulhadi-Sukhtian. Ramallah: Dar Al Nasher.
The only place where Volume 2 appears to be available is here. (Be advised that shipping appears to take one to one-and-a-half months.)
Detailed Contents of Volume 1, Part 1: The Course of the Year and the Course of the Day
Several years ago, Chris McKinny wrote a series of posts named “Secret Places.” We resurrect it now to draw your attention to another little-known museum in Jerusalem.
If you have been to Israel a few times, and names like Edward Robinson or Charles Warren are starting to mean something to you, then you may want to add this museum to your next visit.
The museum is located within the compound of Augusta Victoria church/hospital on top of the Mount of Olives. The church’s bell tower is a prominent landmark that can be seen at some distance from several directions. You have certainly seen it, even if you were not aware of what it was.
The German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in the Holy Land occupies a house located right behind (east of) the church. As you walk in from the main gate and follow the road to the right, you will see green signs in front of the church that direct you towards the “German Institute of Archaeology.”
The museum is located in the lower story of this house. It highlights the work of Conrad Schick, Gottlieb Schumacher, and especially Gustaf Dalman. On display you will find large models of Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher constructed by Schick, survey instruments used by Schumacher to draw maps and plans, as well as signs with biographical details.
Most of the museum, however, is dedicated to the work of Gustaf Dalman. Dalman was the first director of the Institute. His name may be familiar to some readers as the author of Sacred Sites and Ways: Studies in the Topography of the Gospels (1935), one of the few works by Dalman translated into English. He was an expert in the study of, well, pretty much anything related to the Holy Land.
“Dalman’s main aim and starting point was to shed light on the biblical and post-biblical past of Palestine. Instead of only studying texts and relics of the past, and the Bible, he studied the daily activities and customs of the Arab population of Palestine…he combined anthropology, comparative religion, music, and biblical schalarship with geography, geology, botany, astrology, meteorology and zoology into a…new multi-disciplinary field of study…Palestinology” (Abdulhadi-Sukhtian 2013: vii–viii).
Dalman recorded and collected just about anything you can imagine, and many of these collections are represented in the museum: photographic slides, ancient pottery and coins, herbs, rocks, and limestone models of tombs, presses and Palestinian houses. The models have removable roofs and walls so you can see the interior layout of the structures. It is a little mind-boggling that one man produced all this work.
Theologians and pastors would come to the Institute for a three-month course taught by Dalman. A map in the museum shows his itinerary for field trips and a display case contains Dalman’s personal copy of Baedeker Palestine and Syria guidebook.
The museum is not large. You are free to visit, but the Institute requests that you call or email beforehand if you have a group. I would recommend keeping groups very small—ten people would start to feel crowded. A visit will only take about an hour, and most of the labels and signs provide English translations. While you are in the Augusta Victoria compound, the church has a collection of inscribed ossuaries in one of the side rooms. Some of the ossuaries have names like Matthew, Jesus, and Mary. The church also has a life-size replica of the ark of the covenant, and the Bibles of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Empress Augusta Victoria. From the top of the bell tower, on a not-particularly clear day, I was able to make out Baal Hazor, Nebi Samwil, the Dead Sea, and Herodium. It provides a nice view of Jerusalem’s Old City as well.
Contact information for the German Protestant Institute can be found on their website.
Citation Abdulhadi-Sukhtian, Nadia, trans. 2013 Work and Customs in Palestine, Vol. 1: The Course of the Year and the Course of the Day. 2 parts. Ramallah: Dar Al Nasher.
The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.