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Palestine, Poland and the PEF: Lucjan Turkowski's manuscript 'Material Culture of the Peasants in the Judaean Hills' in context

Carol Palmer CBRL, Amman will present the PEF AGM lecture. This will follow the AGM and therefore the time of starting may well be delayed.

Ploughing in the West Bank. Photo courtesy of Carol Palmer

(Image courtesy of Carol Palmer)

This lecture presents the background of LucjanTurkowski’smanuscript of everyday life in mandate Palestine. LucjanTurkowski (1905-1976) was a Polish ethnographer trained in Vilnius and Warsaw during the interwar years of the Second Polish Republic. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, he was exiled to central Asia and was among tens of thousands of Poles whoserved in the Polish Army in Palestine, working as a technical editor in a publications office in Jerusalem. He settled in London following the war and, latterly, became Professor of Ethnography at the Polish University Abroad (more correctly translated as ‘in exile’). Towards the end of his life, his work was introduced to the Palestine Exploration Fund who subsequently supported the publication of his research on Palestine following his death. This lecture tells the story of his life, the people he met along his journey, loyalties and friendships of a life in exile, and of the significance of the work in the contemporary context.

Carol Palmer is director of the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) British Institute in Amman with research interests in Middle Eastern agriculture, past and present. She originally trained as an environmental archaeologist, specializing in archaeobotany, and her PhD research was an anthropological and ecological study of traditional farming in northern Jordan. She subsequently held a CBRL Post-doctoral Fellowship studying changing Bedouin lifeways from southern Jordan. She took up her present position in Amman in September 2009.

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