Ancient Handicrafts in Rural Lebanon

Agricultural activities in rural Lebanon date back to Phoenician times. Introduction Traditional Lebanese handicrafts are considered to be a major sector of the living cultural heritage in the rural areas of Lebanon. Transmitted from one generation to another, traditional rural Lebanese handicrafts have been able to persist from the Phoenician and Roman periods until the present day.[…]

Philistia: A History of Palestine since the Stone Age

Human remains, the “Palestine Man”, found south of Lake Tiberias in the Zuttiyeh Cave, date back as early as 600,000 BCE. Introduction Palestine is one of several names for the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and various adjoining lands. Different geographic definitions of Palestine have been used over the millennia,[…]

A History of Hebron from Ancient Judaea to Today

Hebron has long been a city of conflict between Palestinian residents and Israeli settlers. Introduction Hebron is a city in the southern Judea region of the West Bank, 30 km south of Jerusalem. It is home to some 120,000 Palestinians and 600-800 Israeli settlers. Another 7,000 Israelis live in the suburb of Qiryat Arba (or[…]

Genetics and the Archaeology of Ancient Israel

Modern DNA analyses give an indication of what might be learned from ancient studies. By Dr. Roy J. KingAssociate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, EmeritusStanford University Who were the ancient Israelites? This question has been endlessly debated but almost no attention has been paid to their biology. That is now about to change, and[…]

Ancient Judaean Technology

Archaeological remains attest to a rise in urbanization in the 10th century BCE as reflected in building technologies. Introduction Though the kingdom of Judah was not particularly notable in terms of technological developments, technology, nonetheless, played a central role in its rise as a political power in the region. Emerging in the 10th century BCE, it[…]

A History of Jerusalem from the Ancient World

The city’s history continues to make it a central location in human affairs. Introduction Jerusalem is an ancient Middle Eastern city of key importance to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Perhaps no city on earth binds the hearts of believers in so complete a way. Today Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and[…]

Medieval Jerusalem: A Period of Decline

After about 1244 CE, the city remained a backwater of the late medieval Muslim empires and would not again exceed a population of 10,000 until the 16th century. Introduction The history of Jerusalem during the Middle Ages is generally one of decline; beginning as a major city in the Byzantine Empire, Jerusalem prospered during the[…]

Literary Archaeology at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

A literary alternative to the murderous, supersessionist versions of the story that animates the site. Given the amount of blood that has been spilled, it may be hard for anyone who does not live there to believe that Palestine and Israel together constitute an area roughly the size of Massachusetts with a population nearly twice[…]

Dome of the Rock: Religious Significance, History, and Architecture

Completed in 691 CE, the Dome of the Rock is the oldest extant Islamic building in the world. Introduction The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة, translit.: Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע, translit.: Kipat Hasela) is an Islamic shrine and a major landmark in Jerusalem. It was completed in 691 C.E., making it the oldest extant Islamic building in the[…]

Why Did Lord Balfour Back the Balfour Declaration?

Arthur Balfour was a complex character, hard to read. His reasons for backing Zionism may have been multiple. By Philip AlexanderLiverpool John Moores University In early November 1917 Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild received at his home at number 148 Piccadilly, London, a letter from Lord Arthur James Balfour, a letter which famously stated that “His[…]

Palestine before World War I

Zionism began to take shape in 1881 when Russian revolutionaries assassinated Tsar Alexander II. The land called Palestine gave no indication, early in the twentieth century, that it would become the world’s cockpit. Rather, if anything, the reverse. A century ago it was merely a strip of territory running along the east coast of the[…]

The ‘Land of Pales’, an Overview of Ancient Palestine

The region of Palestine is among the earliest sites of human habitation in the world. Introduction Palestine in the ancient world was part of the region known as Canaan where the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were located. The term `Palestine’ was originally a designation of an area of land in southern Canaan which the[…]