BiblePlaces Newsletter
Vol 9, #3 - March 30, 2010

The other day a friend commented to me that the people in Israel are interesting.  I corrected him--the peoples in Israel.  The geographically fragmented land has always been characterized by a variety of different peoples.  And they usually don't get along.  In biblical times, there were the Israelites and the Judeans.  The Philistines lived around and sometimes in the midst of them.  Ahab married a Phoenician who brought a whole cohort of foreign priests to Israel's capital.  And then there were all the "-ites" that were in the land when Joshua arrived and who never really seemed to leave (Canaanites, Amorites, Jebusites, etc.). 

In Jesus' day, there were a number of people groups as well.  Of course, the Samaritans weren't on friendly terms with the Jews.  The Galileans were recognized by their distinct accent (see Matt 26:73).  One could hardly consider the Judeans to be homogeneous, with their many sects such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.  And that's not to mention the occupying Roman forces.

Today there are many divisions between the peoples in Israel, whether identified by ethnicity, religion, or politics.  You may be an Arab and yet serve in the Israeli army or belong to a terrorist organization.  Tensions exist between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews.  Jewish Israelis can be found on opposite extremes of the political spectrum; members of "Peace Now" aren't best of friends with Jewish residents of Hebron.  Christians, Druze, Samaritans, Bedouins, and foreigners all contribute to the mix. 

The photo CD being released this month is entitled People of Palestine, and it includes many wonderful photos of some very fascinating peoples.  In the early 1900s, the American Colony photographers were very interested in the cultural distinctives of the residents, especially the Bedouin.  Because of the pressures of modernity, much of the customs and dress of the Bedouin are disappearing.  This volume includes sets of images of Arab men, women, and families.  In addition there are separate sets of Bedouin men, women, and children.  Jews and Samaritans are represented, as are some Christians and foreigners.  Because of my own interest in their story, I really like the images of the Matson family and the American Colony. 

This is the last volume in The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection and it has been fun showing off some of these pictures over the last eight months. (Ok, it would have been even more fun if we had convinced a few more of you that these are worth purchasing!)  What's next? We're not sure, but we have some good ideas!

Todd Bolen



Palestine Exploration Fund Q. S.:
Rare and Expensive, but Now
(Mostly) Free

If you're interested in the early exploration of Palestine, one of the best sources is the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement.  However, like the Survey of Western Palestine volumes, they are rare and hard to find.  Some years ago I located an extensive (but incomplete) collection for sale in London.  Our school librarian flew to London to purchase and carry them back personally.  I would love to have the time just to sit and read through the volumes, beginning with the first in 1869. 

Fortunately, we are no longer limited by cost or availability, because almost all of the first 40 volumes (1869-1908) are now available online for free.  Below are links to each volume, including a link to a description page (with a variety of download options) and a direct link to the pdf file, if that is your preferred format.  If you're the kind of person that just wants them all available locally on your own hard drive, I've renamed the files and put them into a single zip file that you can download here (750 MB).  [Because of the large file size (and the bandwidth required), this link will only work for one month.  After that time, interested subscribers can contact me directly to get the file.]


Volumes 1-2, 1869-70 (details, pdf)

Volumes 3-4, 1871-72 (details, pdf)

Volumes 5-6, 1873-74 (details, pdf)

Volumes 7-8, 1875-76 (details, pdf)

Volumes 9-10, 1877-78 (details, pdf)

Volumes 11-12, 1879-80 (details, pdf)

Volumes 13-14, 1881-82 (details, pdf)

Volumes 15-16 NOT AVAILABLE (?)

Volumes 17-18, 1885-86 (details, pdf)

Volumes 19-20, 1887-88 (details, pdf)

Volumes 21-22, 1889-90 (details, pdf)

Volumes 23-24, 1891-92 (details, pdf)

Volumes 25-26, 1893-94 (details, pdf)

Volumes 27-28, 1895-96 (details, pdf)

Volumes 29-30, 1897-98 (details, pdf)

Volume 31, 1899 (details, pdf)

Volume 32, 1900 (details, pdf)

Volume 33, 1901 (details, pdf)

Volume 34, 1902 (details, pdf)

Volume 35, 1903 (details, pdf)

Volume 36, 1904 (details, pdf)

Volume 37, 1905 (details, pdf)

Volume 38, 1906 (details, pdf)

Volume 39, 1907 (details, pdf)

Volume 40, 1908 (details, pdf)



News from the BiblePlaces Blog...

Mount Zion Vandalism, Filmmakers in Galilee - Some signs were defaced in Jerusalem, and some Italian filmmakers packed up because they considered the land destroyed by infrastructure, wires, and pollution...

Hurva Synagogue Photos - The arch that symbolized the destroyed building for a generation has now been replaced by restoration of the synagogue itself...

Cities of Paul Collection - This CD with 900 photos is now scheduled for release in Logos format.  The cheapest you'll probably ever see it is right now...

Beth Yerah: It's an Arabic Palace, Not a Synagogue - Archaeologists in the 1950s found a column base with an inscribed menorah, but that misled them...

Dead Sea Scrolls: A Full History - This book by Weston Fields collects more of the details of the early dramatic years of the discovery than you'll find anywhere else, ever...

Bombing of King David Hotel (1946) - A photograph of the damage caused by Jewish terrorists in their fight against the British...

And more...

Featured BiblePlaces Photos:
Bedouin Women

The photos below are taken from the set of images of Bedouin women.  You can see a complete description and list of images on the CD here.  If you're disappointed that we didn't choose men or children instead, don't be sad (look for subtle links). 

Each photo below is linked to a higher-resolution version, but we recommend that you download the Bedouin Women PowerPoint presentation (5.7 MB), which includes an additional 15 photos (21 total).  You are welcome to use these images for personal study and teaching. Commercial use requires separate permission.  These photos are included in the new American Colony volume, People of Palestine. For more high-quality, high-resolution photographs and illustrations of biblical sites, purchase the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands or the Historic Views of the Holy Land collections.


Bedouin women from Adwan tribe

Click picture for higher-resolution version.

Date of photograph: between 1898 and 1914


Women of Beersheba

Click picture for higher-resolution version.

Date of photograph: between 1900 and 1920


Bedouin mother with child

Click picture for higher-resolution version.

Date of photograph: between 1898 and 1946


Bedouin mother and child from Beersheba

Click picture for higher-resolution version.

Date of photograph: approximately 1900 to 1920


Old Bedouin woman from Adwan tribe

Click picture for higher-resolution version.

Date of photograph: between 1898 and 1946


Bedouin woman waiting at hospital

Click picture for higher-resolution version.

Date of photograph: between 1934 and 1939



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All contents (c) 2010 Todd Bolen.  Text and photographs may be used for personal and educational use.  Commercial use requires written permission.