Category Archives: Customs

Agriculture in Palestine: making butter

Butter was considered the most valuable dairy product in Palestine. When it is salted and mixed with spices this butter keeps for several months and can also be used during the summer, when the animals give little milk. Gustaf Dalman … Continue reading

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The Goat

Traditionally Bedouin tents were made from goat hair. Not only is it a strong fibre, it also swells when it becomes wet and therefore provides a water-resistant cover in rain. Here’s a close-up of the fabric of the Bedouin tent … Continue reading

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The sheep

Ok, that is a picture of a lamb in New Zealand. But the sheep was similarly important in the agrarian economy of Ancient Israel. In archaeological excavations, most of the bones recovered are those of sheep or goats. Often, it … Continue reading

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A day in Palestine: Night

Gustaf Dalman ends his description of the day in Palestine with the night. About one and half hours after sunset it is fully night in the Holy Land. In the farmhouses lamps are lit by then. Among farmers and Bedouin … Continue reading

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The Stable

On the basis of his observations in early 20th century Palestine, the evidence of archaeology and the consideration of the Bible and other texts, Gustaf Dalman described how animals would have been housed in Ancient Israel and Roman Judaea. At … Continue reading

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A day in Palestine: Sunset

Shadows already cover the valleys, but the hilly slopes are bathed in a golden light. A band of golden yellow shines on the western horizon. Above it, the sky changes to a subtle green and then into deeper blue. At … Continue reading

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A day in Palestine: afternoon

Among Arabs, the afternoon was already considered part of the evening. Muslims often called this time “between prayers”, between noon and evening prayer. According to Dalman, evening prayer ocurred before sunset.But it also is a time when the heat of … Continue reading

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