The Photos of the Prince of Wales’ 1862 Tour

By Nne-Amaka Nwokocha The photographs in this collection, taken by Francis Bedford, cover the Middle East tour that the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) took in 1862, visiting Palestine, Syria, Anatolia, Egypt, Lebanon and Greece, all of which, except Greece, were under the control of the Ottoman Empire at the time. This tour had been planned by Prince Albert for the Crown Prince to ‘improve’ him when news of his ‘relationship’ with an Irish girl started to arise. The year after the death of his father, Victoria still sent him on this tour with 9 other men, including the photographer Bedford and an influential cleric, Dean Arthur Penhryn Stanley of Westminster, who would become one of the founders…

Underground Jerusalem

Jeffrey Auerbach In 1869, William Simpson, already famous for his Crimean War drawings, accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, to Egypt for the opening of the Suez Canal. After finishing his work there, Simpson traveled to Jerusalem where Charles Warren of the Royal Engineers was conducting archeological excavations on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Warren was sending back written reports to The Illustrated London News, but did not have any images, so Simpson offered to make some sketches. He had already produced several illustrations for Rev. George Sandie’s book about Jerusalem but had never visited the city. Over the course of two weeks, Warren guided Simpson through the subterranean labyrinths beneath the Temple Mount /…

2020 Routledge Philip R. Davies Early Career Researcher Publication Award

The Palestine Exploration Fund, in conjunction with Routledge/Taylor & Francis, is pleased to open the call for entries for the 2020 Davies Early Career Researcher Award. This award honours the memory of Professor Philip R. Davies, prior Chair of the Fund, who died suddenly and before his time in May 2018. The Award recognises his unique contribution to scholarship, his enthusiasm for academic publishing, and his desire to develop younger scholars. The award encourages early career scholars in producing original, high quality research articles. To this end, rather than a single prize, the Fund offers prizes to the winner and up to two runners up, as well as the chance to publish their articles in the PEF’s own peer-reviewed journal,…

Announcement of Winners: 2019 Routledge Philip R. Davies Early Career Researcher Publication Award

This award recognises excellent research and writing by early career scholars in the areas covered by the Palestine Exploration Quarterly. Since Prof. Philip Davies was strongly committed to mentoring early career scholars and to innovation in publishing, this award appropriately reflects two of his greatest contributions to the field. The award is funded through the generosity of Routledge/Taylor & Francis in memory of Davies and in recognition of his contribution to scholarship and to publishing during his lifetime. 2019 Winner: Dr Matthew Susnow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem The Palestine Exploration Fund is pleased to announce that Dr Matthew Susnow’s entry—‘Liminality and Canaanite Cultic Spaces: Temple Entrances, Status Transformations and Ritual in Threshold Contexts’—has been selected for the 2019 Davies Award.…

Visual Memory and Palestine Campaign

Alex Worsfold While studying for my Master’s, I worked with my University’s outreach program on extra-curricular classes for students of Secondary Schools around Kent. A particular set of sessions I ran on the Palestine front during the First World War, focusing its memory is side-lined in British education on the First World War. As with many aspects of the First World War, the advent of the Second World War inflected almost all facets of memory with altered meaning. The campaign through Egypt and Tunisia, and the famous battles of el Alamein have largely eclipsed popular cultural imagery of the First World War in the desert, which are generally are associated with the Ottoman victory at Gallipoli. The trouble I had…

Islamic Bayda Project 2016: excavating the best preserved mosque in Petra

Micaela Sinibaldi  The third season of the Islamic Bayda Project took place in July-August 2016 and was again affiliated with the Council for British Research in the Levant. The Palestine Exploration Fund has generously co-funded the project since its first season; this support has been essential to reaching our important results. This season, a larger team was in the field than in former years. In addition to a team of international and Jordanian volunteers, archaeology students from Cardiff University joined as part of their courses and trained in the activities of archaeological documentation and excavation. As usual, the project included local team members from the Ammarin tribe from Bayda, whose experience in excavating in Bayda from the former seasons was…

Back to Black (the Desert)

A blog on the Eastern Badia Archaeological Project, Jordan Yorke M. Rowan The Eastern Badia Archaeological Project investigates two regions located in the Black Desert of Eastern Jordan, Wadi al-Qattafi and Wisad Pools. Both areas, situated along the southeastern edge of the basaltic area known as the harra, may have been more attractive in the past than the current desolate appearance would lead us to believe. Our current focus in the field are the excavation of two buildings at Wisad Pools, an area with hundreds of structures and over 400 petroglyphs. Our survey and excavations suggest that many of the collapsed buildings near the pools date to the Late Neolithic period (6,500-5,000 BC), attracting hunters and pastoralists to spend substantial…

(re-)discovering Late Neolithic sites on the Karak Plateau, Jordan

Pascal Flohr, University of Oxford, School of Archaeology In October 2019, after the first rains of the season, we headed to the Karak Plateau in Jordan to visit Late Neolithic sites I had identified by desk-based research, and find suitable areas to discover more of these sites. For one week, chipped stone and Neolithic expert Bill Finlayson and I drove around much of the plateau (Fig. 1), documenting sites (Late Neolithic and not  – as archaeologists it is difficult to ignore any ancient remains!). The Late Neolithic (from around 8500 to 7000 years ago) is a very interesting period, as it is the time when agriculture became the main form of subsistence for many people in Jordan, and for the…

Technique Profile: Couching Embroidery

[Documentation of the British Museum’s Palestine Textile Collection: A Knowledge Exchange Fellowship] By OmarJoseph Nasser-Khoury For this blogpost I have decided to focus on one type of surface embellishment embroidery Couching (tahrir, shughul talhami) that I came across whilst working on the British Museum textile collections from Palestine. Couching is the second most prevalent decorative surface work found throughout Palestine. The technique was best developed and used in the Bethlehem and Beit Jala area, especially in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is often thought that the technique was probably inspired and developed from Ottoman couching embroidery (see Weir, 1989: 127; Kawar & Nasir, 1992: 15; Kawar, 2011: 139). In the south, in the Jerusalem and Bethlehem area…

Digging for Oil at Khirbet Ghozlan

Dr Jamie Fraser The site of Khirbet Um al-Ghozlan (the “Ruins of the Mother of the Gazelles”) sits on a steep knoll overlooking the stunning Wadi Rayyan in north Jordan. Most archaeologists would classify the site as a hamlet or village, as it is only 0.4 ha in size. In this respect, Khirbet Ghozlan sits comfortably with our traditional understanding of the Early Bronze IV period (2600-2000 BCE), during which people abandoned large, fortified, mounded sites and dispersed into small, undefended villages. However, Khirbet Ghozlan is remarkable for a monumental enclosure wall. Built partly as a double wall of massive, megalithic slabs, this enclosure controlled access to the Ghozlan knoll. Why defend such a tiny site? Olive oil and the…