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The Wilderness of Zin - Archaeological Survey (1913-1914)

This survey was undertaken on behalf of the PEF by two figures better known for exploits in other fields, namely Sir Leonard Woolley (of Ur fame, the Mesopotamian city which he went on to excavate in the 1920s), and T. E. Lawrence "of Arabia". The main aims of the survey were as follows: 

  1. To clarify the history of occupation of this area of the Southern Negev by examining and mapping the archaeological remains from all periods.
  2. To trace the old inland route of caravans from central Palestine to Egypt.
  3. To identify sites mentioned in the Bible and other ancient texts.
  4. To investigate the area of 'Ain Kedeis, traditionally associated with the site of Kadesh Barnea as mentioned in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible.

In a few weeks, Woolley and Lawrence largely accomplished these objectives. They compiled a great deal of valuable archaeological data from this inaccessible region, which has proved to be an important source of information.

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