Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement. 124 Issues.
Journal. Palestine Exploration Fund.
Book ID: 28248
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THE MOST IMPORTANT REFERENCE WORK ON PALESTINE IN THE LAST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY AND EARLY 20TH. Subjects published are written by prominent scholars, military officers, botanists, photographers, and scientists in every human field.
The Palestine Association was founded in London in 1804 with the purpose of promoting exploration and researches in the Holy Land, but because of the hazardousness of travel in the country at the time, little was accomplished. The Association petered out in a merger with the Royal Geographic Society in 1834 but it was to re-emerge with aplomb in the Palestine Exploration Fund of later years. In 1864 the War Office appointed an officer of engineers, Sir Charles Wilson, to begin a survey of Jerusalem and its vicinity. The result of his work constituted the first publication of the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly which was founded the next year,1865, opening the Holy Land both to modern archaeology and to modern mapping and surveying. It was typically English in the dualism of its work- undertaken for the sake of Biblical research, it was carried out by army officers designated by the War Office. Inevitably The P. E. F. field workers, as they gradually uncovered the true shape of Palestine’s highly civilised past, became themselves caught up in the prospects of the country’s future. Until the work of the P.E.F. began to be published, there were few practical people who thought the land could be revived at all. Apart from its historical finding, the Fund showed that Palestine had once been habitable by a much larger population and a more advanced civilisation than was commonly supposed and therefore could be again.
This work shows without any doubt the early deep commitment of British politicians to colonise Palestine as a first step, and to facilitate the immigrations of the Jews from Europe to establish a state for them. Most of the scientists who served with the Palestine Exploration Fund were linked directly to British Intelligence Corp, and to the War Office. Their reports and writings contributed immensely to the triumph of the British army against the Turks in the First World War.