Nineteenth-Century Maps of Palestine: Dual-Purpose Historical EvidenceAuthor(s): I. W. J. HopkinsReviewed work(s):Source: ...
Nineteenth-century maps of Palestine:                              dual-purpose historical evidence                       ...
I                                         AC RE, ZN AZRETtl Tt)A E JOI               IN                                   ...
-3      P.E.F,, Tenty-one   Years   Work   in   the   Holy    Land,   p.   127.                                           ...
covered by the French army was properly surveyed.4 Many areas are left blank on his map and the HillCountry lacks detail. ...
nated in the vast expansion of settlement after 1948 and is thus very valuablefor comparisonwith Mandatemaps and Israeli m...
G                               Q      a B                           "Ji " na                               Z "Pl%i;t7 3  ...
to add 180 ancient sites to the map of Palestine in the area of his survey,6 including such importantones asDebir, Megiddo...
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  1. 1. Nineteenth-Century Maps of Palestine: Dual-Purpose Historical EvidenceAuthor(s): I. W. J. HopkinsReviewed work(s):Source: Imago Mundi, Vol. 22 (1968), pp. 30-36Published by: Imago Mundi, Ltd.Stable URL: .Accessed: 20/03/2012 15:24Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact Imago Mundi, Ltd. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Imago Mundi.
  2. 2. Nineteenth-century maps of Palestine: dual-purpose historical evidence By I. W. J. Hopkins,Universityof Durham SUMMARY The accurate mapping of Palestine did not take place until the 19th century, but is of particular interest to historians asthe maps were largely compiled in order to facilitate the understanding of the land in ancient times. The major surveys ofJacotin, Wilson and Conder and Kitchener were all concerned not only with depicting the contemporary topography, but alsoconditions in the Biblical and Classical eras. Much detail of ancient ruins, roads and tells were marked, and the 1-inch map ofthe Palestine Exploration Fund, surveyed in the 1870s, is still superior to modern mapping as a source for the location of theseremains. The high accuracy of this map, as those of Schumacher and Wilson in particular, render the abstraction of datarelatively easy. In addition to ancient remains, much contemporary information on land use and settlement was plotted,although the accuracy of this was not great on the maps of the earlier part of the century. With the economic developments inPalestine in the last century and the Zionist settlement in the present century, these maps are invaluable documentaryevidence. Thus we have a collection of maps of all scales from town plans to small-scale thematic maps, which give dual-purpose historical evidence, i.e. for both the times in which they were produced and for the Biblical and Classical eras. The location of the much fought-overareawe know as Palestinehas been such a crucialone in the MiddleEast that it is full of historicalinterest. In addition,its importanceis greatlyenhancedby the partit has playedin the formation and thinking of three of the worlds great religions.It was this antiquarianinterest whichinspiredmuch of the exploration and mappingof Palestineand surrounding countries.Consequently,althoughthe accuratecartographicdelineation of the countries of the Middle East came rather later than was the casein WesternEurope, when it did arriveit was largelyinspiredby historians,Bible students and exponents of theyoung science of archaeology. As a result, we find that the maps of Palestine, especially those of the 19thcentury, not only reproduce contemporary conditions, but also portray considerabledetail of relevancetoearlierand particularly Biblicalperiods. The cartographic history of Palestinehas been so little written of in Englishthat a brief reviewof 19thcentury developments is necessary before preceeding to discuss the evidence these maps give.1 In 1818,Jacotins map, which was produced during Napoleons campaignin the area, was made public (it had beenpublishedearlierbut not released),andalthough it containedmany inaccuracies sparkedoff a lively interest itin the area. It was also the first attempt at an instrumentalsurvey of Palestine.Manymapswere compiledinthe early 19th century aimed at the religiousmarket(as can be seen by some of the titles), includingthose ofReichard(1816), Assheton (1820), Walker (1821), Berghaus (1835) and Tobler(1836). Therewas also a spateof Bible atlasessuch as those of Lapie(1812), Palmer(1831), Zimmerman (1948), and Menke(1868). EdwardRobinson and other explorers of Palestine providedadditionalfirst hand informationabout the middle of thecentury,and Kiepert was able to compile maps from their data. Mansell produced some important coastalsurveysand Victor Guerin publisheduseful maps,but in 1858 Van de Velde markeda real transitiontowardssurvey ratherthan compilation in his map at a scale of 1 : 315,000, whichwasthe standardmap of this part ofthe world until the Palestine Exploration Fund map was published.It was based in part on other maps butincludedmuch materialfrom his own observations. In 1865, CharlesWilson produced his survey of Jerusalem,which, although coveringonly a small area,showed what historiansand Biblicalscholars,as well as geographers, could gain from an accuratetopographicalmap. With a greaterdetail and accuracythan previousplans of the city, it formed the foundationstone for theexplorations of Wilson,Warrenand other scholarsin the second half of the century. As an attempt to achievesimilarresults over the whole country, the Palestine Exploration Fund sent out a survey party underClaude1 The only full account of the cartographic history of Palestine is I. Shattner, Mappath Eretz- Yisrael ve toledothehah (InHebrew). (Bialik Institute, 1951). Other useful works are: F. J. Bliss, The Development of Palestine Exploration. (London,1906); H. V. Hilprecht, Explorations in Bible Lands during the 19th Century (Edinburgh, 1903); Eretz Israel, Vol. 2, 1953. (Anumber of articles in Hebrew); and Rohricht, Bibliotheca Geographica Palaestinae. (Berlin, 1890).30
  3. 3. I AC RE, ZN AZRETtl Tt)A E JOI IN Fig. 1. Jacotinsmap of Palestine,1818.Conder(laterjoined by H. H. Kitchener),from 1872 to 1877, which producedthe best maps by far of Palestineprior to the Mandateperiod. At a scale of 1 inch to a mile, the map of WesternPalestinedepicted accuratelythe country as it then was and also showed as many ruins, mounds and ancient sites as possible, all of whichwere carefully examined by the surveyors.2An attempt to continue the survey east of the Jordan failedalthough a small area was mapped. Withinthe frameworkof these maps, minor surveysfilled in the details.WilsonsOrdnanceSurvey of Sinai and the mappingof Palmerand Tyrwhitt Drake in the Negev and Arabahproduced topographicaland historicalinformation about the little known regions to the south. Dr. GottliebSchumacherproduced some good maps east of the Jordan;and Conder, Schick and other workersdrew upplans of towns and sites of historical interest.At the beginningof the FirstWorldWar,Capt. S. F. Newcombesurveyedthe Negev,and the OttomanGeneralStaff made a reconnaissance surveyinto the area.The main mapsdealt with here, however,will be the PalestineExplorationFund Map(abbreviated P.E.F. map) and those of toWilson,Van de Velde, Kiepertand Jacotin, as these are the most importantand the most accurate. An analysis of these maps will indicate how useful they are as historicalevidence for the 19th century2 The 1: 63,360 map in 26 sheets was publishedin 1878 and accompaniedby severalvolumesof memoirs.The mostuseful referencesto the P.E.F. survey are: C. R. Conder,Palestine (1889); C. R. Conder, Tentworkin Palestine (1879);T. Saunders,Introductionto the Surveyof Western Palestine(1881); Sir C. F. Arden-Close, ClaudeRegnierConderand theSurveyof Palestine,EmpireSurveyRev. (1944), and I. D. Hart,Surveysof Palestine,Worldof the Bible(P.E.F., 1965). 31
  4. 4. -3 P.E.F,, Tenty-one Years Work in the Holy Land, p. 127. Fig. 2. Palestine Exploration Fund Map, 1879.32
  5. 5. covered by the French army was properly surveyed.4 Many areas are left blank on his map and the HillCountry lacks detail. His Dead Sea coast is very inaccurate,and Jerusalemwas fixed by using Niebuhrsastronomicalobservations.The Mediterranean coastline, especially south of Joppa, was very poorly knownuntil Mansellmapped it correctly in 1860-62, and the Sea of Galilee was wrongly shown on many quite latemaps. The Ezziyeh Basin south of Tyre, to take anotherexample, was shown only generallyon Kiepertsmapand wrongly on Van de Veldes. This unreliabilitymakes the extraction of historical evidence difficult. TheP.E.F. map was by far the most accuratein fixing positions on the earth grid, and it is a pity that nothingcomparableis availableof earlierdate, apartfrom the coastal and Galilee sections of Jacotinsmap. The P.E.F.survey was founded on a triangulationwhich covered the country quite thickly from the latitude of thesouthern end of the Dead Sea to just north of Tyre, andthe smallersurveyeast of the Jordanwas linked withthat to the west. This gives this series of maps a consistency lacking in the older maps,whereaccuracyvariesfrom area to area. A cartotest on the P.E.F. map revealed a block shift of 19 seconds to the west and anaveragediscrepancy of 1.1 secs. to the north in latitude, when comparedwith the 1 : 100,000 maps of theSurvey of Palestine.This should be kept in mind when extractinginformation.Although not as accurateas thecontemporaryOrdnanceSurvey maps, Conderswork can be taken with confidence for use as a sourcein mapcompilation. It is certainly far more accurate than Jacotins map which had a 20 minute discrepancyinlongitude,and even the Irbid map of Schumacheris as much as 10 seconds out in latitude and 30 secondsinlongitude. For relief information it is best to avoid 19th century maps, as only Wilsonswork was contouredaccurately.Jacotin depicts relief by the familiar caterpillars, Van de Veldes hill shadingis sketchy. The andP.E.F. map has a delicate hill shading which compares very well with the hachureson some 19th centuryOrdnanceSurvey maps, but apart from a few spot-heightsthere was no attempt to depict accuraterelief. Acheck on the heights shown on the Samariasheet revealedan averagedifferenceof 35 feet comparedwith thecorresponding Survey of Palkstine map. Evidence of land use and vegetation is available for the 19thcentury in these maps although not, of course, for ancient times. In fact most maps are rathervaguewith thistype of information.Wilsonsmap of Jerusalemand Environs(1 : 10,000) is the best example of evidenceforvegetation. Small pictorial symbols are shown on the P.E.F. map, but except for the gardensaroundtowns theareasare undefined and there is no key. A good picture of the extent of gardensaroundLydda and Ramlehis,however, available.Jacotins map shows cultivated areaswhich are very useful as the period around 1800 isusually regardedas a time of economic depressionand gross underemploymentof land and resourcesin theOttoman Empire. Among the best maps showing land use are those published by the German DeutschePalastinaVereinwhich are in vivid colour and very useful. For the historian, settlement and communicationsare probablythe most importantitems on a map,and itis here that the dual-purposenature of these maps is brought out. Valuableevidenceis obtained both for theimportant 19th century developmentsand for the Biblical and classicalperiods. Apart from the holy places,settlement and roads are not depicted stronglyon maps of Palestinein the early part of the 19th century, butlater on they become important, especially as it was realized that modern villages were often the directdescendantsof Biblical places and in many cases retained the same or a similarname. Eventuallyevery ruin,tell, and squalid village was put on the map as scholarssearchedfor the evidence of ancient sites. The BritishOrdnanceSurvey has a good record for placing historical information on maps, but many of these maps ofPalestinehad this as their main aim, and this does not refer to the Bible atlasesand other specificallyhistoricalcompilations. For both the 19th century and for ancient evidence, the P.E.F. map is again by far the best, partlybecause of its largerscale and in part because of the thoroughnessand accuracyof the surveyors,ConderandKitchener.It distinguishedbetween major and minor roads then existing (they were in fact tracksratherthanpermanent highways),and Conderalso markedRoman routes as far as they were known. As evidence for 19thcentury settlement, this map is unique. It was producedjust before the largeJewish emigrationswhich culmi- On Jacotin see: D. H. Kallner (Amiran), Jacotin s Map of Palestine. PEQ (1944); Y. Karmon, An Analysis of JacotinsMap of Palestine, Israel Exploration Jnl. (1960). 33
  6. 6. nated in the vast expansion of settlement after 1948 and is thus very valuablefor comparisonwith Mandatemaps and Israeli maps to trace the course of settlement growth in Palestine. The P.E.F. map showed over10,000 place-names all, comparedwith the 1,712 of RobinsonsIndex, andevenVan de Veldes map showed inonly 1,800 places. Many villagespreviouslyunknown to Europeanscholarswere revealedand put on the mapfor the first time through the work of Conder and Kitchener,west of the Jordan, and Conder, Schumacher,Warren, Palmereast of the river.Comparisonswith Survey of Israel maps are interestinghere. The P.E.F. andreducedmap, at 3/8 inch to a mile, shows 94% of the amount of detail on the Survey of Israel 1: 250,000map, so good comparisonsbetween the 1870s and the 1960s are possible. Whatis more interesting,however,isthat the P.E.F. map (in this case the 1-inch version)includes about 20 %more informationon historicalsites -tells, ruins, caves, etc. - than the Survey of Israel 1 : 100,000 maps. Such was Condersattention to detailthat he can mark 19th-century oil mills and ancient stone coffins on the same map. So we see that ConderandKitchener depicted the evidence which they saw on the ground for the ancient geographyof Palestineas wellas giving the information one would normally expect in a topographicalmap of the late 19th century.Consequentlynot only is the P.E.F. seriesof maps a uniquely accurateset of documentsfor the study of 19thcenturyPalestine, but it is still the best topographic source we have for ancient times. With the Survey ofPalestinemaps no longer current,until the Surveyof Israelreleasethe 1 : 10,000 and 1 : 20,000 maps they arepreparing,5 P.E.F. 1-inchand 3/8-inch maps will continue to providethe best source availablefor historical theevidence of ancient times in cartographicform. Its information on caves, ruins, and for the location ofchurchesand mosques, is still the best we have. To go back to Jacotin, we find that while useful comparisonscan be made between his map and that ofConder, in order to examine 19th century development,it is possible only in detail in Galileeand along thecoastal plain. The most important routes and villages are shown on the Frenchmaps,andthe largenumberofkhans (inns) shows up well in the Galilee section. This is very useful for comparisonwith later maps, as weknow that the number of khans declined markedlyin the 19th century. Evidence for earlierperiods is not,however, thick on this map, although the most important ruins and tells are shown, e.g. Caesarea.NeitherKiepert nor Van de Velde drew maps at a scale large enough to show much detail, although towns and thelargervillages are shown as are the most important ruins and tells. Schumachersmaps east of the Jordanarelargely concerned with historical remains,and ruins of ancient sites are frequentlymarked,but 19th centurysettlement is shown as well. By the time we get to Newcombes map of the Negev, surveyed 1913-14, theinterest in Biblical data can be seen to be givingplace to a more intense concern for the contemporaryculturalgeography. Of course, when dealing with ancient sites, carehas to be taken with identifications.These maps show, asthe century progresses, only more sites but also a more correctidentificationof them. Currentplace-names notwere generally collected accurately,especially by Conder, but ancient ruinsand tells were often given Biblicalnames with little careful study of topographicalevidence or the Biblical text. Kiepert, for example, whosenames are usually good, places KadeshBamea about 35 miles south of the Dead Sea (Mapof Lower Egypt andSinai 1856), whereas scholarsnow locate it at Ain Kadeis,near the Israel/Egyptborder.Jacotinsmap is goodfor names in so far as he gives alternativesto the largerplaces where the name has often changed, and so hegives not only conventionalEuropeannamesin many cases, but also the classicaland Arabnames, the latter inArabic script. Thus Acre has four names attached to it. However,JacotinsArabicnameshave been criticisedfor inaccuracy,and many places are just named village.Van de Velde identified many new places of Biblicalinterest in his travels, e.g. Aenon or Bir Salim. Any Biblical names on the earliermaps should, however, betakenwith caution.Condercollected the currentArabicnames for the places on his maps, which on the face ofit makes them appearto be less useful, comparedwith Jacotins.In fact, this makes the P.E.F. map even moreuseful as evidence of the current Arabplace-name, and the sheets are not clutteredup with doubtful identifi-cations. The Arabic name is often a corruptionof the ancient name and this fact has helped enormously inlocating Biblical, Classicaland Byzantine sites. Conderhimself reckonedthat throughplace-names was able he5 Survey of Israel catalogue 1964.34
  7. 7. G Q a B "Ji " na Z "Pl%i;t7 3 ftf ttOw iif i c; 7 u, k *f: r *JCI r ;,d 15? r7 iii ? ! 0,1 41 X m <Z: jtt {444^ - i ^i . z-, P ; L, S- ??--= Qe- a -??"I r*J U ,, C* r" t Pir 4 2: *. "e
  8. 8. to add 180 ancient sites to the map of Palestine in the area of his survey,6 including such importantones asDebir, Megiddoand Gilgal (still disputed). Its influence can be seen on the Bible Societys map of 1887, anditenabledthe boundariesof the twelve tribes of Israelto be laid down with greateraccuracy. As the century progressed,more accurateidentifications of ancient sites were made,andthe virtueof theP.E.F. map wasthat, insteadof givinghis opinion on the map, Conderreproducedthe actual topographyof the1870s in cartographicform and left his opinions to the voluminous memoirs. So the map can still be used asevidence for ancient sites as well as for 19th-century development, without the fear of being given falseevidence. Whenwe look at town plans, the interest in ancient times againbecomes very apparent,for a largenumberof quite insignificantplaces were mapped simply because of the existence of local ruins.Yet these plansalsoprovide extremely valuableevidence for urban developmentin the Ottoman period. The GermanSociety, inparticular,published some very fine coloured plans. The Karte der Umgebungvon Jafa (with a plan of thetown) by Theodor Sandel is one of the best, showing not only settlement and roads but also land use.However,evidence from maps for urban developmentin the 19th century is only really availablein detail forJerusalem.Many maps were drawn of the city, with particularemphasis on the ancient remainsin order toattempt a solution to the heated problems of the topography of the city in Biblical and Classicaltimes. Themaps were, however, of uneven quality. Niebuhrsplan looks poor comparedwith his maps of other placesinthe Middle East. However, in the 19th century, maps become increasinglyaccurateand useful comparisonscan be made. Thus by comparingthe early 19th-centurymaps of Tobler, Kiepert of the OrdnanceSurveyofAldrich and Symonds (1841), which show the city largely confined within the walls - and with open spaceseven there - with those of Pierrotti (1864), Wilson(1865), and Schick (1895), the growth of housing to thewest andnorth, and then later to the south-westaroundthe railwaystation, can be clearlyseen. Any identific-ations of ancient Zion and Ophel, or of the ancient springs,should be treated with caution, however. HereWilsonscored,rather as Conderdid later, by recordingaccuratelythe contemporarytopographywith the ruinsand remainscorrectlylocated, enablinglater researchto sort out an identificationof the ancient sites on a firmcartographic base.Manyplanswere drawnby Schumacher for examplehis plan of Madaba- by ConradSchick -and by Conder, but it was in the main the ancient sites that they were interested in, so these plans provideevidence for old mounds, walls and ruins and only incidentally for the habitations of the last century. Othergaps were filled in towards the end of the century too numerousto mention, although the work of Hull thegeologist, of CanonTristramthe naturalistand of de Vogue deservemention. These mapsfilled in some of thegaps with evidencefor the contemporarytopographyand for ancient sites. In this brief analysis of the maps of Palestine in the last century, the emphasishas been on the value ofthese documents as historical evidence,and many important cartographers explorershave not even been andmentioned. Yet, even using just the most vital maps of the period, it can be seen that there is importantevidence here in cartographicform, both for the 19th century and for more ancient times. By carefuluse ofthe larger-scale better produced maps information is availablefor the geographyof Palestinetowardsthe andend of the Ottomanperiod,and there is a wealth of materialof greatuse to the scholarsof ancient times. Manyof them could in fact be called topographicalmaps with a historical theme. Students of the 19th-centurymight be regretfulthat these mapperswere perhapsmore concernedwith illustratingthe book of Joshuathanin helping future historians of the Ottoman Empire, in the same way as many of the sponsors of the largersurveyswere disgruntledat their slow, scientific and unspectacular nature.The result,however,is that althoughthe mappingof Palestinefollowed a long time behind that of WesternEurope,the maps that were produceddohelp historiansof both ancient and modern times, and this gives them a characterthat is, perhaps,unique.6 C. R. Condor, Palestine, p. 28.36