I may get in trouble for this one, but with limited time, it’s either this or nothing today.  And it is ostensibly related to biblical places.  Published at Arutz-7, this feature is entitled “Do You Know Your Geography of Israel?”  You can take the test by identifying the locations of thirteen photos.

UPDATE 9/6: I regret posting this “quiz.” I was first intrigued by a “geography quiz” of Israel and then surprised at the “answer.” I posted it more for amusement value than as a declaration in support of certain “truths.” I have no knowledge that the claim of this quiz is accurate and no interest in promoting it as accurate (even if it is). But this was certainly not clear in my original posting. 

Deleting this post would halt my continued perpetuation of this “story,” but it would not provide the opportunity for the clarification that I am making now. For some specifics of the problems with this “story,” see Tom’s second comment below.


I think that for a certain subset of this blog’s readers, photo challenges are enjoyable.  I’ll tell you a little and you can tell me the rest.  This photo is part of the Jerusalem volume of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection and it was taken in approximately 1900.


The best answer in the comments below wins a free copy of the Jerusalem CD (or your choice of another if you already have it).  An important part of the answer is why it is impossible to take this same photo today.


I correctly identified Heather’s choice of Hippos (Sussita), Israel in the latest round of “When on Google Earth,” and that gives me the privilege of challenging my readers to identify this site and its major period of occupation in the comments below.


The rules of When on Google Earth are as follows:

Q: What is When on Google Earth?

A: It’s a game for archaeologists, or anybody else willing to have a go!

Q: How do you play it?

A: Simple, you try to identify the site in the picture.

Q: Who wins?

A: The first person to correctly identify the site, including its major period of occupation, wins the

Q: What does the winner get?

A: The winner gets bragging rights and the chance to host the next When on Google Earth on his/her own blog!

You can follow along on the Facebook group.  Here is a list of previous sites and winners:

# Host: Victor: Site: Period:
1Shawn GrahamChuck JonesTakht-i Jamshid / Persepolis terrace, IranAchaemenid period
2Chuck JonesPDDChurch of Saint Simeon at Qalat Siman, Syria5th-6th c. CE
2.1Chuck JonesPaul ZimmermanQal’at al-Bahrain16th c. CE
3Paul ZimmermanHeather BakerBaraqish (Yathill), YemenMinaean (1st millennium BCE)
4Heather BakerJason UrMohenjo Daro, Pakistanca. 2600-1900 BCE
5Jason UrDan DiffendaleMonte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico1st-5th centuries CE
6Dan DiffendaleClaire of Geevor MineSegontium, Caernarfon, Wales77ish to about 390 CE
7Claire of Geevor MineIvan CangemiCarn Euny, UKca. 500 BCE-100 CE
8Ivan CangemiSouthie ShamMonks Mound (Cahokia), IL, USAfl. 1050-1200
9Southie ShamDan DiffendaleGergovia, Francefl. 1st c. BCE
10Dan DiffendaleDorothy KingKastro Larissa/Argos, Greececa. 1100 CE
11Dorothy KingDaniel PettUtica, TunisiaC8th BCE– C2nd CE
12Daniel PettNeil SilbermanCaesarea Maritima, Israel1st century CE–Present
13Neil SilbermanChuck JonesGraceland, Memphis, TN, USA1939 CE–Present
14Chuck JonesAphaiaBam Citadel, Iranpre-C 6th BC–C19thCE
15AphaiaDaniel PettMyrina, Lemnos, GreeceClassical Greek–present
16Daniel PettPaul BarfordDambulla Cave Temple, Sri Lanka1st century BCE
17Paul BarfordScott McDonoughRosetta (Rashid), EgyptPtolemaic, Mamluk
18Scott McDonoughLindsay AllenAni, TurkeyMedieval, C10th-14th CE
19Lindsay AllenHeather in ViennaSouth Shields, England, UKRoman Imperial
20HeatherScott McDonoughSuomenlinna/Sveaborg fortress, Finland1748-present
21Scott McDonoughChuck JonesDerbent, Republic of DagestanSasanian-present
22Chuck JonesPaul BarfordAmphitheatre of Aquincum, HungaryRoman
23Paul BarfordGeoff CarterThe Cursus, (Stonehenge) WiltshireNeolithic
24Geoff CarterFerhan SakalThe Heuneburg, South GermanyIron Age
25Ferhan SakalLindsay AllenSura, SyriaRoman
26Lindsay AllenAndrea KayBannerman Castle, Hudson River, USC20th
27Andrea KayDavid PowellTaposiris Magna, Alexandria, EgyptC1st BCE
28David PowellBillyRoss Abbey, Galway, IrelandMedieval
29BillyGeoff CarterGreat Zimbabwe, AfricaC11th – 14th CE
30Geoff CarterHeatherElsdon Castle, EnglandC11th – 12th CE
31HeatherGeoff CarterVolubilis, MoroccoRoman
32Geoff CarterPaul BarfordSu Nuraxi, Barumini, SardiniaC15th – 6th BCE
33Paul BarfordFerhan SakalArkona, GermanyMedieval
34Ferhan SakalHeatherArslantepe, TurkeyChalcolithic – Byzantine
35HeatherFerhan SakalMahabodhi Temple Complex, India3rd century B.C. – 6th CE
36Ferhan SakalBillyBorobudur, Buddhist shrine, Indonesia9th century B.C. – 6th CE
37BillyFerhan SakalBrowns Island, New Zealandc. 13th century – 1820
38Ferhan SakalAndrea KayBat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn, Oman3rd millennium B.C.
39Andrea KayMatt B.Serabit el-Khadim, Egypt2nd millennium B.C.
40Matt B.Andrea KayValsgärde grave field, SwedenSwedish Vendel /Iron Age
41Andrea KayLindsay AllenSiwa oasis, Egyptfourth century B.C. -Roman
42Lindsay AllenDavid GillCastle of Pont Steffan, Wales, UKMedieval
43David GillNigelHay Castle, Wales, UK12th century
44NigelHeatherOlympos, TurkeyHellenistic – Roman
45HeatherFerhan SakalCarnuntum, AustriaRoman
46Ferhan SakalTroels MyrupKnossos, GreeceBronze Age
47Troels MyrupAlun SaltAggersborg, DenmarkViking
48Alun SaltGeoff CarterMarsala, Sicillia.Punic/Roman
49Geoff CarterMatt BSpringfield Lyons, UKLBA (/Saxon)
50MattBGeoff CarterKalkriese in Osnabrück, GermanyRoman
51Geoff CarterFerhan SakalGrimes Graves, Norfolk, UKLate neolithic
52Ferhan SakalOliver MackHeraqla, ar-rashid,syriaLate C8 CE
53Oliver MackMatt BWelzheim, GermanyRoman
54Matt BGeoff CarterBirka, SwedenViking
55Geoff CarterHeatherNemrut Dagi, TurkeyC1 bce
56HeatherGeoff CarterChoirokoitia, Cyprus.Neolithic
57Geoff CarterJaimeWoodhenge, UKLate Neolithic
58JaimeGeoff CarterGorgora Nova, Ethiopia,C17th (CE).
59Geoff CarterNathan T.ElkinsFirouabad, IranC3rd CE
60Nathan Elkins Paul BarfordPortus, ItalyRoman
61Paul Barford HeatherDelos, GreeceClassical-Hellenistic Greek
62Heather Geoff CarterGordion, Turkey1500-700 BCE
63Geoff Carter CFeagansVix, France6th-5th C BCE
64CFeagans Alun SaltNewark Great Circle, OH100 BCE
65Alun Salt Eloy CanoAgra, India1556-1658
66Eloy Cano Troels MyrupGöbekli Tepe, Turkey10-8th millennium BCE
67Troels Myrup HeatherKanhave canal, Samsø, Denmark8th c. CE/Viking
68Heather Troels MyrupButrint, Albania10th c. BCE-18th c. CE
69Troels Myrup Paul ZimmermanBirketain, JordanRoman
70Paul Z.Oliver MackCueva de Menga/Viera, Spain3rd mill BCE
71Oliver MackHeatherDur-Kurigalzu, Iraq14th-12th c BCE
72HeatherTodd BolenHippos, IsraelRoman-Byzantine

Let’s do this post a little differently than the previous ones, with a little reader interaction.  Instead of me describing the photo, I’ll give you the opportunity.  Write in the comments below as much as you can about this picture, including its name(s), major features visible, and anything else that indicates why this photograph is useful today for understanding the geography and history of ancient Israel.

Aerial photo with stones, dirt, trees, water

The answer I deem best wins the Northern Palestine CD, volume 1 of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection, with 600 high-resolution photos of Acco, Benjamin, Caesarea, Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum, Ephraim, Galilee Hill Country, Haifa, Huleh, Jaffa, Jezreel, Mount Carmel, Mount Hermon, Mount Tabor, Nazareth, Samaria, Sharon, Shechem, Sea of Galilee, Tabgha, Tel Aviv, and Tiberias.

P.S. Searching on the Library of Congress website won’t really help you, because the name of this place is not given in the description.

About the BiblePlaces Blog

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.


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